Springhill group : Scam Artists Don’t Take Holidays Off
Officials warn residents to be alert, check things out before donating
December 27, 2011
By Ashley Rittenhouse – The Marietta Times (firstname.lastname@example.org) , The Marietta Times
Law enforcement officials are reminding residents to find out whether solicitations for monetary donations are legitimate or not before giving, as this is a popular time of year for scammers to spring into action.
Employees at Marietta Home Health Services and Hospice were notified that scammers called two residents just last week.
“They’re saying they’re from Marietta Hospice and asking if they’d like to donate money on their loved one’s behalf,” said Taylor Daugherty, volunteer coordinator for the agency. “We do not do that.”
Hospice provides in-home or homelike care for patients diagnosed with terminal illness.
Daugherty said those who received the calls are family members of people who passed away recently but received hospice care before their death.
“We think whoever did it checked out the obituaries,” she said.
Daugherty noted that in some cases, those who receive hospice care decide to include in their obituary a note that all donations can be made to the agency and the scammers probably spotted this.
She said fortunately, the residents had a feeling something wasn’t right and they did not agree to donate any money. The incidents have been reported to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Larry Mincks said residents need to be cautious when it comes to donating money for any cause.
“If you receive a phone call, check with the agency that is soliciting to see if they even make phone calls,” he said. “There are a number of good organizations out there that are in need of money this time of year…but be careful who you’re sending it to.”
Mincks noted that his office receives information on a regular basis about scams that have taken place both over the phone and through the Internet.
“It’s not an unusual occurrence,” he said.
Daugherty added that the agency does accept donations on an ongoing basis and they can be dropped off or mailed to 210 N. Seventh St., Suite 400, Marietta, Ohio 45750.
“We use those funds for a patient who needs resources that can’t be covered through hospice, for example, if there’s a blizzard and they can’t afford that month’s bill on the heat,” she said. “It’s part of keeping the patient comfortable.”
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