CPSO warns of scam asking residents to donate to veterans affected by COVID

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 9:57 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Sheriff Tony Mancuso is warning of a new scam that may make its way to Calcasieu Parish. This one pulls at the heartstrings of those who want to help our local veterans, especially those affected by COVID-19.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office received word yesterday that victims in nearby parishes have reported receiving an email from what appears to be the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association.

The email asks victims to participate in collecting gift cards to donate to veterans to help with the financial burdens of COVID-19.

The email then instructs the victim to reply to the email if they wish to participate. The sheriff’s office is encouraging anyone who receives the email to not respond.

Enforcement Commander Gene Pittman says that any legitimate organization would not use gift cards to collect money for any cause.

“Any charity, any association, any group that would be doing something like that would not use gift cards. So, the danger in gift cards is it’s a store-valued card. Once you put your money on a card, and once you mail that to whomever, for whatever reason you might do that - that money is gone, it will never be tracked, it can never be traced again,” Pittman said.

Sheriff Mancuso wants to remind residents of a few tips you can use to avoid being scammed.

  • Resist the pressure to make an immediate decision.
  • Verify the information before sending any money.
  • Never wire money or give gift card information based on a request made over the phone or in an e-mail.

If anyone believes they may have been victimized by these scammers, they are encouraged to contact the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

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