Sham Charity Exploits Veterans, Targets You by Phone
A caller from a sham charity dubbed, “Coalition for Veterans of America” is preying upon Kentuckians’ goodwill toward veterans and veteran causes, Attorney General Andy Beshear said.
The Office of the Attorney General has received multiple reports from Kentuckians, including a report directly from the Kentucky State Police, saying a caller claiming to be with the “Coalition for Veterans of America” is seeking donations to help cover Veterans Affairs medical bills and aid homeless veterans.
Beshear’s Office of Senior Protection verified the organization is a sham, and is working with the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs to increase awareness among veterans and their families throughout July, which is Military Consumer Protection month.
The River City News received a call from the organization referenced in Beshear's alert.
Beshear said upon learning of the scam, his office issued a scam alert because he wants Kentuckians who would like to support deserving veterans and their families to do so without being victimized.
“Our veterans and their families deserve respect and safeguards from scammers,” Beshear said. “To make sure our veterans and legitimate veteran organizations receive donations, I am asking Kentuckians to beware of this scam and take time to verify a charity before making a donation.”
Donors who are not familiar with a charitable organization can verify official organizations on CharityNavigator.org. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection website offers research tools, including a list of active charitable giving campaigns in Kentucky.
Beshear said donors should follow these additional tips to avoid a sham charity scam:
- Do not feel pressured to give money or financial information over the phone.
- Beware of sound-alike charities.
- Be cautious of social media requests for donations. Although some may be legitimate, consumers need to verify before making donations.
- Ask solicitors what percentage of your donation will be given to relief efforts. By law, the solicitor must tell you if you ask.
- Avoid wire transfers or gift cards as a donation method.
Better protecting Kentucky families, especially seniors, from scams is one of the core missions of Beshear’s office.
Kentuckians interested in staying ahead of scammers can sign up to receive Scam Alerts from Beshear’s office by texting the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or visit ag.ky.gov/scams to sign up with your mobile phone number or email address.