INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 30, 2016)-- Thousands of people thought they were donating their hard-earned money to cancer research, only to be scammed.
“They will use a name that sounds familiar to people or sounds like something that is legitimate,” said Tim Maniscalo, BBB President/CEO.
$75 million later and authorities have finally shut down two fake cancer support services. Both had completely functional websites and call centers who would phone out and ask victims for donations.
“They will put up a website that looks very, very good. We have seen people even copy other websites before,” said Maniscalo.
They were preying on people’s compassion and generosity, then using the victim’s cash for their own benefit.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and other authorities shut them down. Officials with legitimate organizations like Susan G. Komen say this case shows everyone should research before donating.
“We are very transparent about when you donate, you can look on our website and see exactly where the money goes,” said Susan G. Komen representative Natalie Sutton.
Although the sites were taken down, authorities know there are others out there who will try this same scam again. The BBB, IMPD, Indiana Attorney General’s office continue to look out for these fake charities.
Authorities say everyone should ask for written information on the charity before donating and should ask how the charity will use the donation. Also, watch out for charities who have similar names to well-known organizations.
“Before you give your money, check out the charity. Don’t respond directly to unsolicited emails or phone calls,” said Maniscalo.