KSP Post 2 in Madisonville has documented a number of people who reported receiving calls from someone who states he is with KSP or another police professional fundraiser. His goal is to try to obtain donations (credit or bank card information) for fallen officers who have died in the line of duty. When asked for more information about his authenticity, he hangs-up. Complainants advise the caller may identify himself as "Rick" and calls from a 270 area code.
The investigation is in its early stages, but this number is likely a Skype account originating overseas. KSP does not and will not ask anyone for any banking or personal information. (Although KSP is currently involved in raising funds for a fallen trooper memorial, it does not engage in cold call telemarketing activities.)
KSP recommends treating every solicitation call as a scam until proven otherwise. The best and proper way to determine the legitimacy of a charitable organization is to check with the Kentucky Attorney General's office by calling (502) 696-5300 or visiting their website at: ag.ky.gov. By law, every charitable organization must be registered with the AG's office.
The Better Business Bureau may also be a viable option to check as well.
It also should be noted that it is illegal for any lottery and/or a sweepstakes to request that you send money (for any reason). Furthermore, all foreign lotteries and/or sweepstakes are illegal.
Scams come in various forms and are always evolving into newer areas. KSP offers the following tip-offs to help avoid phone scams:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it often is.
- High pressure sales or frequent calls.
- Immediate decision/action required (You must act now with no time to decide or research for that matter.)
- Requests a credit or debit card or any banking account information.
- Offers to send someone to your home or to overnight something.
- Offers something for free.
- Is unresponsive to questions or too quick to answer by cutting you off.
- Offers an investment without a risk. (Every investment holds some form of risk.)
- Will not provide written information or references. (Maybe hangs up when asked for written information.)
- Not registered with the Attorney General's Office.