Central Oregon – Businesses are being urged to hang up if someone claiming to be a local police officer phones and asks for a donation to a community cause you have allegedly supported in the past.
The scam involves a business receiving a call from a person (usually male) claiming to be a local police officer. The caller asks for a company director by name and then asks a series of questions about whether or not there have been any problems with anti-social behavior in the area lately. This is a tactic to build a rapport with whoever answers the phone and display a level of knowledge of the local area to make them appear genuine.
The caller goes on to ask whether or not the business will be continuing to support a local police community publication with a small donation, just as they have done in the past. An apparent “colleague” of the caller then calls within ten minutes of the original call asking for payment. Yet when challenged to provide a telephone number so he can be called back, he claims to have forgotten his number.
Kris Hicks of CPR Call Blocker is urging businesses in Oregon to be wary of unsolicited calls asking for donations. “The issue with this type of scam is that people in businesses could easily be tricked in to thinking that they have supported a cause like this in the past. As many local businesses often give back to their communities through charitable donations, scams like these can be easy to fall for.
“The additional problem with calls like these is that people are naturally more inclined to trust a call that they receive from someone in a position of authority, such as a policeman. However, the police will not ask for money over the phone
“We would advise businesses in Oregon to be vigilant against these types of calls and suggest they never make a donation over the phone to an unsolicited caller without verifying the caller. This can be done by asking for their full name, job title and telephone number. Businesses should also be aware of all the causes they have supported in the past so that they cannot be fooled in to donating to fake causes.”