Beware of scam calls claiming to be part of Deputy Pickett fundraiser

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Scammers are using the death of a Boone County deputy in an attempt to trick a community in mourning.

Over the weekend, several people said they received calls from a man claiming to be a part of a group raising money for the fallen deputy's family. The caller insisted he needed people's credit card information for the donations.

The scam artist reportedly claimed to be with Indiana Going Blue, an organization that helps families of officers killed in the line of duty. The man told those he targeted he was trying to get donations for the family of Deputy Jacob Pickett, who died earlier this month.

The president of the organization says they have no such fundraiser going on and they would never ask for donations over the phone.

"Don’t ever falls for this," said Angie Cheeseman, president of Indiana Going Blue. "If anybody calls you asking for money, be cautious."

Gary Jennings said he got one of the calls Sunday morning.

"I asked if he could give me an address to mail [the donation] to because I knew it was a scam," Jennings said. "He said no, he’s doing it by credit card or debit card only. I told him I actually knew individual who ran Indiana Going Blue and that I work with her when my schedule allowed. And, he hung up on me."

Jennings said it's troubling that criminals are using this tragedy to steal money.

"Scam artists will do anything to tug at people’s heart strings to try to scam money out of them," Jennings said.

"It's sickening, it's aggravating, it’s disgusting," Cheeseman said.

There are legitimate ways to help Deputy Pickett's family. If you'd like to make a donation, you're asked to contact the Boone County Sheriff's Office.

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