robocallDoes this sound familiar? You get a call that goes something like this: “I’m from the Police Officers Support Association. Can the police officers who risk their lives every day to protect you and your family, count on your support and count on you for a donation?”

It has become all too common for criminals to try to deceive us into giving them money by exploiting the support we want to offer our law enforcement officers. They even go so far as to impersonate police officers. “These callers typically use language that suggests they are charities raising money directly for local police,” observes “But what’s the truth.

The answer is that, in many cases, these aren’t charities at all. Instead, they’re ‘independent, expenditure-​only’ political action committees, or super PACs. Why does this matter? Simple: less scrutiny. Charities face relatively rigorous review from the Internal Revenue Service, and most states require them to register before they can operate there…At the end of 2021, robocalls raising money for police groups were the highest-volume phone messages in most major U.S. markets, according to Nomorobo, a robocall-blocking company that works with AARP on fraud prevention.”

Police (the actual real police) offer these recommendations on how to respond to a phone call asking you to donate to an alleged police charity:

Get and Verify Information: If you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be associated with law enforcement, ask for their name, badge number, the name of the police force they claim to be a part of, and why they are calling. Then hang up immediately and call the named police department to verify their identity.

Don’t Share Any of Your Personal Information: Never give personal information (and especially financial information) over the phone unless you are 100% certain of the caller’s legitimacy. Personal information is a gateway that fraudsters use for identity theft and financial fraud.

Warn Others: Share information about these scams with friends and family, especially those who you think might be particularly vulnerable to these kinds of rip-offs.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska