Sunday, October 26, 2008

Beware of the Scammers!!

Don't Give to People Claiming to Raise Money for the Shelters

There Back!! There are a group of women who claim to raise money for homeless shelters in and around Cleveland. Please do not be fooled. There are only two groups that go out and collect money on the streets that have anything to do with homelessness. Both groups are well marked and have a long history in Cleveland. The Salvation Army collects donations on the street with that familiar red kettle. The Homeless Grapevine do not collect donations, but many of the vendors are homeless or near homeless, and the pedestrian will always get a street newspaper if they give some money. Both the Grapevine and the Salvation Army are legitimate, but these women with clipboards are scammers. Please call the Police, and tell the manager of the business that they are raising money to support their own criminal activities.

We have had reports this last week that they are back in Cleveland Heights, but they travel around to shopping centers in Greater Cleveland. They have a clipboard to look official and they usually have the NEOCH published street card. They have a fake badge and use some sob story about a flood at the women's shelter or the need for money for domestic violence. The flood at the women's shelter happened over two years ago. Yes, the domestic violence center needs funds, but these women are not giving their ill-gotten funds to any charity. They also sometimes use my name, but don't be fooled. They are collecting money for themselves. They work in a team, and it is nearly impossible for the police to do anything because the victim is only losing a dollar. Where is Carl Monday when you need him?

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

1 comment:

CynDe said...

Last year one of the women was inside the exit at Dave's at Severance. I wanted to photograph her but had to go to my truck for my camera. When I returned to the store, she was gone.

I told the manager to keep a watch out for her.

She was wearing an official looking NEOCH badge with her picture on it, was asking for donations for Community Women's shelter (flood relief) and she did have Street Cards.

I think she recognized me because I've encountered this woman before. The first time was in front of Terminal Tower two years ago where she and a male partner (he was at Superior and Ontario) were soliciting donations for NEOCH by selling a single rose stem.

I told her that I was a board member and that I was not familiar with this fundraiser. She was gone from that location before I crossed the street.

After you told me that NEOCH wasn't doing that type of fund raising, I was approached by her male partner several weeks later. He ran from me when I confronted him.

Have you contacted the media about this?

Cindy Miller