Officials warning residents about phone, donation scams

Posted at 10:32 AM, Sep 15, 2018

In the wake of thousands of people in need of help to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Florence, the Michigan Attorney General's Office is warning you to be wary of phony donation scams.

The AG’s Office recommends the following questions to ask before giving donations:

  • To whom are you donating? Are you sure of the asker's identity? Could it be someone masquerading as someone else?
  • How do you know that the money you donate will be spent appropriately? Public charities are subject to auditing requirements and other disclosure rules; you can also research them at various sites, including AGCharitySearch.
  • Is your intended recipient similarly transparent and accountable?
  • In donating to an individual: Is it someone that you know? Someone that you trust? Is the amount being raised reasonable or does it seem excessive? When giving to an individual, it can be difficult to know for sure that the recipient will use your donation as you intend it to be used. 
  • Use your best judgment; if in doubt, don't donate.

That warning comes as the Michigan State Police Lansing Post puts out an alert about a new phone scam going around.

FOX 47 News's Cryss Walker spoke with officials about ways to protect yourself.

“We just want people to understand you know if we were to contact them we wouldn't be asking for sensitive information like that over the phone”, said Trooper Rasey Jupin.

If you get a call from the Michigan State Police Lansing Post, there's a possibility that it may not be a trooper on the other end of the phone

“People are making contact (with) whoever they can using some sort of program hiding their calls or designing it to show up as Michigan State police”, Jupin explained.

MSP officials are sending a warning out letting residents know that there's a tricky scheme targeting Lansing area residents.

“Just trying to get information from them that's sensitive as far as banking numbers, social security numbers, so that way they can umm basically scam them”, Jupin continued.

Troopers say the scammers are looking for someone to prey on through methods of intimidation and urgency.

MSP officials say if you have been contacted by scammers and released your personal information call the Lansing Post to file police report at 517-322-1907.