Statement issued Tuesday:
Indianapolis – The Indiana State Police wants to remind all Hoosiers to ensure they verify phone and door to door solicitors of donations purporting to be collecting funds for charitable organizations.
Recently the Indiana State Police and many other police agencies across Indiana have received complaints from residents and businesses concerning solicitors who implied they have an association with the Indiana State Police or other police agencies. These complaints have resulted in the initiation of an investigation.
Complainants have reported they were asked to tape the donation to the door of their home or business for collection later in the day. On some occasions, the solicitors have told donors the funds would be used to send a local child to a law enforcement summer camp.
The Indiana State Police offers these tips related to phone and in person solicitations for charitable donations:
•Whether in person or by phone be aware of solicitors using high pressure tactics or solicitors who prey upon your sympathies to get an immediate donation
•Never make arrangements to have someone pick up money from your home
•If a person claims to be with a specific law enforcement agency, request a name and number of an official within that agency who can verify the solicitor’s status
•Be aware that while your caller ID may show a local number many phone solicitors are actually calling from across the state or even out-of-state
•Be suspicious when asked for ‘cash’ only donations
•Always verify the name of the organization to include their address, phone number and the identity of the caller or the person at your door step
•At your convenience research the charity online before you make a decision to donate
•Never assume that a friendly voice belongs to a trustworthy caller
Whenever there is doubt or suspicion about the legitimacy or tactics of a phone or in-person solicitor, just say ‘no’ to the request and call the state police or your local police department to report your suspicions.