OKLAHOMA CITY – A positive organization for kids is being used in a scam.
Surprisingly, teenagers are the ones ripping people off.
They’re going door-to-door, asking for donations to the Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County but they aren’t with the organization.
Officials said it’s an organized plot that is hitting several neighborhoods in Edmond, The Greens in Oklahoma City and even Tulsa.
Those affiliated with the organization wish they could reach out to these male and female teenagers who are a part of this scam.
“They’re not the type the Boys and Girls club raises,” volunteer Brent Hoig said.
Hoig is talking about the teenager who showed up at his Edmond home Tuesday night, asking for a donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County.
The teen said the money would go culinary arts training or a magazine subscription.
But he wasn’t expecting Hoig’s response.
“‘I volunteer for Boys and Girls Club, so I do my part for Boys and Girls Club’ and he said, ‘Alright, I’m out of here’ and ran off,” Hoig said.
Later at a gas station, Hoig saw two other teens who were involved in the same scam.
They had signatures from his neighbors.
“I thought, ‘Well that’s fishy,’ and one of them turned to the other and said, ‘This could be bad for us,’” Hoig said.
A gas station employee told him the teens were eventually picked up by a white van after trying to buy rolling papers at the store.
“I hate the thought of someone giving these kids money, thinking that they’re helping our organization when it really is a scam,” President and CEO Jane Sutter said.
She said she believes an adult is most likely driving these teens around to rip off generous people.
She said it’s a shame, considering the Boys & Girls Club is such a positive influence for mostly inner city kids who have adult role models guiding them toward success in academics, art, music, sports, etc.
One thing they never do, solicit door-to-door.
“Those kids, I wish they were club members,” Sutter said. “I wish we could show them a better way.”
“These others (teens) are totally on the other side of the page and walking my neighborhood and it just really strikes me the wrong way, rubs me the wrong way,” Hoig said.
Some of these teens said they’re from out-of-state and are staying in hotels.
They usually begin the scam by standing a few feet away from a front door, waving to the resident.