Scammers using Pride of Oklahoma guise


OKLAHOMA CITY — The University of Oklahoma band is sounding the alert about a scam using their name.

The Pride director said a woman soliciting door-to-door donations is not affiliated with the university band.

The women who forked over money said this young lady’s story was very convincing and that she was very detailed about the need for the money.

But hindsight is 20/20 and these women and the university now want to warn others not to fall for it.

The Pride of Oklahoma has thousands of generous donors who support them.

But the director said the young woman going door-to-door in south Oklahoma City last week did not have their best interests at heart.

“It’s really disturbing that someone not only would misrepresent what one organization is up to but would take advantage of the generosity of our fellow Oklahomans,” Brian Britt said, director of “The Pride of Oklahoma.”
Mellodee Wallace opened her door to the young woman who said she was second chair french horn in The Pride and they were raising money to go to London and play at the Olympics.

“She said, ‘Mrs. Wallace,’ and I thought, ‘yes.’ And she said, ‘Oh I’ve been next door, your sister-in-law told me who you were and she gave a donation and she’s challenged you to match that donation,’” Wallace said. “And just excited and she’s jumping up and down all the time and so excited.”

Wallace cut her a $25 check, then learned the same girl went to her neighbor, Vonnie Long, claimed to be Wallace’s grand-daughter!

“And that she was going to get ready to go to London with OU in the band,” Long said.

“She definitely did her homework. She knew a lot of the jargon and the things to say,” Britt said.

One big kink in her story, though, The Pride is not going to London.

“Sadly we are not going to the Olympics. We were not invited, we’re not going,” Britt said.

He said The Pride never does door-to-door fundraising.

Wallace filed a police report and stopped payment on her check.

Unfortunately, Long gave the woman $40 cash.