Scam artists soliciting local contributions

Local law enforcement officals are warning Carson City residents to be wary of callers soliciting funds on its behalf.

Chief Sheriff's Deputy Scott Burau said the department has received several reports from community members asking if it is authorizing a fund drive.

"As far as we can tell, people have been getting calls asking for donations for officers killed in the line of duty," he said. "We think this is a scam."

Burau said the calls starting reaching into the department on Tuesday morning.

Telemarketing scams fall under the jurisdiction of the Nevada Attorney General's Office, which vigorously pursues convictions, said Senior Deputy Attorney General Jane Femiano.

"This is something we would want to look into," she said. She described the alleged misrepresentation as "badge fraud" because it relates to funds being solicited on behalf of a state agency.

Telemarketing fraud is outlined as a "deceptive trade practice" under Nevada law, Femiano said. She works in the state's bureau of fraud protection in Las Vegas.

"We encourage people to be careful when giving contributions, but we don't want to discourage people from giving at all," she said.

Femiano put forward some tips for making sure solicitors are dealing honestly. Before giving money to an unknown charity, contributors should call the Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit agency, or the state Consumer Affairs Division. Both catalog complaints against charitable organizations.

Femiano also said to ask questions.

"Be suspicious," she said. "Ask for information in writing. They should be able to give it to you."

Burau said the department is interested in talking to community members who have received questionable calls. "We are not sanctioning this charity drive," he said.

People with information are encouraged to call the detective's division at 887-2020 ext. 1400.


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