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UPDATED: Town Veterans Agent Warns of Solicitations by Unknown Group

Police have received reports of people receiving donation requests from the "Swampscott Veterans Association."

 

Town Veterans Agent Jim Schultz said police have received phone calls regarding solicitations by a group claiming to be the "Swampscott Veterans Association."

He urges people to be wary of unknown veterans organizations seeking donations.

"I do not know this organization nor are they tied in any way to the veteran organizations located here is Swampscott," he said "It appears that this unscrupulous, uninvited organization is taking advantage of residents' goodwill during the holiday season."

Patch received an email from one of the people who received a solicitation in town.

The solicitor insisted that the smallest donation the group would accept was $20 by check.

This refusal of a small donation signalled to the Swampscott resident that the operation was probably illegitimate and likely a scam.

The veterans agent, who is also a Swampscott police detective, goes on to say that there are people who seek donations from the public on behalf of veterans but very little of what they collect actually goes toward helping veterans in need.

The individuals only give the minimal amount necessary (usually about 5-7 percent) to veterans programs to avoid legal action, he said.  The remaining 93-95 percent of funds raised go towards their "overhead," he said.

"I would like to remind people again, that f they want to donate to a veterans program, your donation should be made locally," he said. "Either through the Veterans Agent, the VFW, American Legion or Marine Corps League, and never tape a check or any donation to your door."

Donations should be mailed to a recognized address or done face to face, he said.

Any questions regarding these solicitors may be made to the Veterans Service Officer (781) 596-8853 or the Swampscott Police (781) 595-1111. 

A S Parker November 21, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Thank you for this information. I've been called numerous times. Last night I just refused because I'd given once and shortly afterward was called again to give. I refused. Now about 4 months later they called again. I was suspicious that it was not legit. Can you believe after I hung up on the fellow he called me again?! I'm now sorry I gave the first time. A. S. Parker
Terry Date (Editor) November 21, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Thanks for adding this, A S. It's another word to the wise.
Restless November 21, 2012 at 07:21 PM
I got called the other night and they thanked me for for my previous donation and asked me to give again. I said I had never donated and they insisted I had. They said they picked it up at my door. I hung up on them. Very odd.
debra a. freed November 21, 2012 at 07:35 PM
My name is Debra Freed. I am the Executive Director for the New England Chapter, Paralyzed Veterans of America (NEPVA). Please know we are not affiliated in any way with a group called Swampscott Veterans Association. Yes, we use a professional telemarketer (All Pro). Please contact me if you have questions or concerns about fundraising. Sincerely, Debra A Freed 800/508-660-1181 or dafreed13@gmail.com

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