Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Thieves use charity phone number to try to scam citizens

OKLAHOMA CITY-  With phone scams on the rise, thieves are getting high tech and using charities' information to prey on their victims.

"It's just horrible," said A. Jaye Johnson of the the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County.

The nonprofit organization is concerned someone is using their name and making phone calls asking for money.

"That's not what Boys and Girls Clubs are about. We will never solicit anything door-to-door or make phone calls... that's not something we do," said Johnson.

Johnson says criminals have tried selling magazines and candy, door-to-door, using their charity's name before, but this time shortly before Christmas, an OKC resident got a call.  The caller ID showed Boys and Girls Club.

"That's what the crazy thing was, somehow they got our number and used our phone number. It looked legitimate, but it was not... I cant believe that happened," said Johnson.

The citizen said the scammers were asking for money to buy ankle and back braces for needy Club boys and girls. Officials say that's not something the charity has ever been involved in.

"Just because it comes from the correct number doesn`t necessarily mean it's coming from that organization," said Megan Morgan of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

The citizen called the Boys and Girls Club to make sure it was a scam. It was. Officials say these scams hurt the public, but they also hurt their organization.

"We are a nonprofit organization and we depend on the generosity of others to help help us run our facility and to do things for the 800 plus kids that we have in our organization," said Johnson.

OKC Police say being suspicious is never a bad thing when dealing with solicitation calls.

"If you ever have any doubt that the person you are talking to is not legitimate simply hang up and call the organization to verify the legitimacy of the call," said Morgan.

Police are asking for your help if you know anything about this phone scam give the OKC Police a call at (405) 235-7300

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