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Look out for food bank scam

Post by Brian Everstine on Feb. 26, 2009 at 7:14 pm with No Comments »
February 26, 2009 7:14 pm

FISH Food Bank officials want people to be aware of callers pretending to be affiliated with the charity and asking for money.

FISH Executive Director Beth Elliott said Thursday that someone claiming to be from "Emergency Relief Services" has been calling people in Western Washington and soliciting donations. The Pierce County-based food bank never calls anyone asking for money, so callers saying they’re with the charity are a fraud, Elliott said.

"We’re pretty small," Elliott said.

Kristin Alexander, a spokeswoman for the state Attorney General’s Office, said anyone who receives a call from someone soliciting money for a charity should ask as questions about the charity to find out if the person is for real. Also, never give out any personal information over the phone. If people want to make a donation, they should call the food bank directly, she said.

A call to the phone number for "Emergency Relief Services" went unanswered Thursday afternoon. A voicemail greeting said, "You have reached the fundraising office, leave us a message and we’ll get right back to ya. Thanks."

Elliott said she notified the consumer protection division of the Attorney General’s Office. People from as far away as Snohomish and Bellingham have reported receiving the calls.

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