Sheriff warns of VFW scam
November 5, 2008
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is warning of a mail fraud scam asking for donations for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Carson Valley VFW Post Commander John Zemlock and Carson City VFW Post Commander Mike Williams said the solicitation letters are fraudulent.
Zemlock and Williams said the veterans’ group does not solicit funds by mail or phone. Hemlock said the scam seems to circulate every few years. The case is under investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Halsey said the fraudulent solicitation letters are difficult to detect because the perpetrators use a form letter, complete with VFW logo and serial number, which appears to be valid.
The letter requests donations be mailed to a post office box in Carson City.
“The best way to avoid becoming tricked by any such scheme is to be cautious of unsolicited mailings from individuals or organizations unknown to you, or with whom you do not regularly conduct business or provide support,” Halsey said. “If you receive a mailing from an organization, and want to verify that the organization is valid and actively seeking donations, it is recommended you call the closest branch office of that organization to verify the information and solicitation.”
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Halsey said to obtain the telephone number for the organization via a telephone book or phone company information rather than relying on a phone number provided on the correspondence in question.
“Those numbers often ring through to a person fraudulently representing the organization,” he said.
Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini said that fraudulent solicitations occur more frequently around the holidays when people tend to be more generous.