The Burlingame Police Department is warning residents about a telephone scam that recently victimized a Burlingame resident.
The caller poses as a member of the police department asking for donations used for keeping kids out of trouble. The caller then asked for credit card information for the donation. The Burlingame victim refused and the caller hung up.
The Burlingame Police Department wants to alert citizens that is does not ask for donations via telephone.
To avoid being a victim in a telephone scam, follow these guidelines from the Burlingame Police:
• Donate to recognized charities with a history.
• Avoid giving cash gifts.
• Be skeptical if someone thanks you for a pledge you don't remember making.
• Reject high pressure appeals.
• Do not do business with any charity offering to send a courier or overnight delivery service to collect your donation.
• Be cautious of promises of guaranteed sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a contribution.
• A special word about appeals that tug at your heart strings, especially pleas involving patriotism and current events.
• After receiving a call asking for a donation, call the charity in question to find out whether it is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name.
• Check out the web site of the charity before donating to the organization.
• Simply having the words "police" or "firefighter" in an organization's name doesn't mean police or firefighters are members of the group or will benefit from the funds raised.
• An organization may claim it has ties with local police or firefighters, but that doesn't mean contributions will be used locally or for public safety.
• Many solicitations for police and fire service organizations are made by professional fund-raisers who are paid to do the job.
• Donations to some police or firefighter groups may not be tax deductible.