Phone scammers use Boys and Girls Club to solicit donations

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UPDATE Friday 5:44 p.m. A day after officials at the Sherman and Denison Boys & Girls Clubs called us to warn the public about a possible phone scam using their good name, a board member now says they've cleared things up.

Board member Johnny Allen says he got a call from a group soliciting donations for a magic show and mentioned the Boys and Girls Club.

Today Allen says they jumped the gun. The group is legitimately selling tickets to a magic show at the Boys and Girls Club benefiting the Shriners.

Boys and Girls Club officials say they apologize for the mix-up.

GRAYSON CO, TX-A local non profit is warning people phone scammers are using their name to try and steal your money.

Both Sherman and Denison Boys and Girls Club directors got wind Thursday of a phone scammer soliciting donations, claiming to be with the organization. One resident who received the call said the man even offered to stop by his business to pick up the cash.

Denison business owner, Johnny Allen said he got a phone call Wednesday from a man claiming to be with the Boys and Girls Club.

"Soliciting for tickets to be sold for a magic show to benefit either the Shriners or the Boys and Girls Club. I've been a board member of the Boys and Girls Club for over 20 years and I don't know anything about it," he said.

He knew something wasn't right.

"Therefore I started asking more questions, probing questions, and next thing I knew the young man hung up," Allen said.

Allen notified Patrick Guarino with the Denison Boys and Girls Club about the call on Thursday and Guarino said Allen wasn't the first to question the strange call.

"We got a couple of calls from a couple of different businesses, here in Denison and one in Sherman, saying that someone's raising money for the Denison Boys and Girls Club for a Christmas party for kids and we're not raising money for a Christmas party for kids," Guarino said.

Guarino said the scammer may be targeting local businesses especially since it's the holiday season. So he contacted Mike DeLong of the Sherman Boys and Girls Club who also said they never ask for donations over the phone and no one is authorized to do so on their behalf.

Now, they're warning everyone to be careful.

"You know you hear more about these type of things and we don't want anybody in our local community assuming that they're doing something good for our local community when they're actually not," said DeLong.

Guarino said it's unbelievable that someone would run a scam using the Boys and Girls Club's good name.

"There's just people who have no values, no morals, don't necessarily care who they hurt because in this case ultimately it will negatively affect the children we serve," he said.

"You just need to be real careful who your talking to, asking questions, probing questions. And if they can't answer the question, then nine times out of ten it's a sham," said Allen.

Both DeLong and Guarino said the Boys and Girls Club asks for donations through events and fundraisers. Guarino said he tried calling the scammer's number back and there was no answer.

If you think you've been scammed, contact local police.

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