Better Business Bureau Warns Of Veterans Scam - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Longview- 4/11/03

Better Business Bureau Warns Of Veterans Scam

   At this time in our nation's history, people are looking for ways to show their support for the men and women who have fought to defend our freedoms.

   But the Better Business Bureau warns that some people are taking advantage of the kindness of others.

  Often Linda Rogers gets phone calls at her office from charitable organizations asking the company to donate money.

   This past Wednesday, a man called saying he was collecting for the veterans fund.

   "He says 'okay I'll put you down for a ticket for $40 and we'll come by this afternoon and pick it up,' " says Linda Rogers with Dubose Equipment and Rental.

   Four hours later the man, identifying himself as Chris, showed up in her office.

   He showed Linda a letter on what appeared to be an official VFW letterhead and presented her with a receipt with his phone number on it.

   "It looked real. It didn't look bogus," says Linda.

   But for some reason, when the man left, Linda says she began to get suspicious.

   She asked her co-worker, a veteran, his opinion.

   "He called his commander at the VFW hall and they said 'oh no, it's bogus. We don't have anything going at this time,'" says Linda.

   "It's really shocking that anyone would do such a deed. Because the veterans spent their lives and gave their time to our government so that we might have a free society," says veteran Troy Bridges.

   Linda immediately called the Better Business Bureau.

   They soon discovered that official letter was signed by a commander, but he had retired from working with the VFW three years ago.

   And the phone number on the receipt had been disconnected.

   "People probably really are a little bit more susceptible to anything that has to do with military or anything like that. And so people are going to prey on that," says Linda Witherspoon with the BBB.

   The BBB says, no matter who the charity, you should always contact them before making a donation.

   Advice Linda learned the hard way.

   If you think you have been a victim of this scam you are asked to call your local Better Business Bureau.

   Amy Tatum, reporting.

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