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Beware of Fundraising Scams

It’s unfortunate that there will always be people out there ready to bilk the public in the name of charity. The most popular ongoing scams involve asking for donations to individuals who allegedly have cancer (which of course hurts people who really do have cancer and need financial help) and con games asking for money for military veterans. Scammers are smart; they try to pull at heartstrings.

In that vein, the next most popular form of fundraising scam typically happens after a big tragedy involving police and/or firefighters. After the Mandalay Bay shooting in Las Vegas, numerous websites went up claiming to raise money for slain or injured police officers, firefighters, victims and families — some were legit, many weren’t. In the more recent incident involving police in Ohio, within 24 hours there was a fraudulent GoFundMe-style account that was entirely bogus.

Even many quasi-legitimate professional fundraising firms tend to cut legal corners when raising money for police or fire associations. Many don’t bother to register in the state where they are soliciting funds. It doesn’t matter if you are a “national fundraising company,” you still have to register in each state. Many such fundraisers also keep as much as 75 percent of the money raised for themselves.

The National Police & Fire Foundation is determined to change this narrative. We promise to bring integrity into any fundraising efforts we do in cooperation with our partners. We have pledged to register in each and every state where we do fundraising work, and we aim to reverse that 3-to-1 split in monies solicited so that 75 percent or more goes to you. We want to become the respected, trusted partner that police and fire associations can depend on.