Beware of the Veterans Scam

by Bobby Blair
November 18, 2012

They're at it again, asking you to donate but very little actually goes to the veteran ...

Last Spring I received a call from the Bay State Vietnam Veterans Inc. asking for a contribution. I declined the invitation telling the caller I had never heard of the organization. In August of this year the Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office filed suit against Bay State Vietnam Veterans Inc. and R.I. based Dynamic Marketing Solutions Inc. alledging fraudulent fundraising. The Attorney General's Office alleged that donors were misled to believe that all their donations were going directly to benefit veterans when in fact 85% were going to the solicitor. The Bay State Veterans site is still viewable on the Internet.

After receiving a tip from local American Legion Commander Alan Greendale on Sunday morning about solicitations for veterans in front of the Superette I ventured downtown.

The gentleman above did not give his name. I grew suspicious when no organization name was displayed on the banner or contribution jug on the man's table. I asked the man if he was in fact a veteran. He told me he was in the Navy fron 1972- 1975. I asked him if he was a volunteer or did he get paid. We get paid an hourly rate he told me. Do you have any information on your organization I asked the man. Polite enough he offered me a half page printed brocheure which stated the organization was "Focus on Veterans" located at 240 Westminster Hill Road in Fitchburg, MA. What are you folks doing way down here I asked. "Oh they send us all over the state" was his reply. A call to the number listed on the handout said that my message would be forwarded to an automatic messaging machine. A review of the Attorney General Charitable Organizations shows that Focus on Veterans last Annual Report was from the period of 5/10/10 to 12/31/10. No dollar figures were listed. Giver beware.

In yet another annual scam, I was emailed by a Wendy Lane resident this week asking if I knew anything about phone call solicitations on behalf of Am Vet Post #495 in Millis. I was a little shocked that the phone calls to local residents were arriving so early this year, normally they arrive in early January. Once again this organization uses a paid solicitor to make calls on behalf of their post. In the past the solicitor received 75% of your donation and Am Vets Post takes the remaining 25%. Why these folks haven't been shut down by the Attorney General is beyond me. I nor anyone in the local Holliston Veterans organizations of the American Legion or VFW are aware of any local veterans being helped by Am Vet Post 495. Nuff said?

 

Posted in Marketplace.

E-mail This Article

Comments (3)

I recently saw Focus On Veterans at a local WalMart, and do not appreciate their "unsat" way of dressing. First, if you have never served your country, you should not put on the uniform. Any soldier, sailor, Marine or Airmen would know what is the proper footwear. As a Veteran, it is sad to know that this organization pockets 85% of the money they get. Where is the focus on Veterans? The AG should look into this group and stop them from duping people out of money.

- Shell | 2/11/14 3:44 AM

I think you should look into the calls that we get for donations to the police association. I was told that the police get very little of that money.

- Roger Castelli | 11/22/12 4:11 AM

Way to go Bobby. I'm sick of those calls too.

- Walter McGrath | 11/21/12 11:36 AM

Advertisement

Advertisement

Recent Articles by Bobby Blair:

Recent Real Estate Sales

Continue ...

School Committee Members Request Override

[Comments:11]

Continue ...

Police Officers Lauded

Continue ...

Will Dogs Be Banned on the Rail Trail?

[Comments:11]

Continue ...

Recent Real Estate Sales

Continue ...

Advertisement

Recent Articles in Marketplace:

RAMS Middle School Golf starts Mid-April

by Michelle Tate

The RAMS Golf Club is an opportunity for middle school golfers.

Continue ...

Loan Money to Your Children??

by Jay Marsden

Solares Hill Advisors When your child asks for a loan, should you say yes? Ask a few questions before writing a check. Why do they need the money? Will it help in the long run? Can you afford it? What if something goes wrong? Think like a lendor before making a decision.

Continue ...

Doing Good when Doing Well

by Ryland Hanstad

Philanthropy and the affluent family: supportng foundations, family foundations, and building a legacy. There are many vehicles to achieve goals.

Continue ...

Support the Food Pantry at Bertucci's

by Amy Porter

Enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner at the Holliston Bertucci's and help out the Holliston Pantry Shelf on Tuesday, March 24 from 4:00 pm-9:00pm or Wednesday, March 25 from 11:00 am-9:00 pm for dine-in or carry-out and 15% of the proceeds of your order will be donated to the Holliston Pantry Shelf. You must present the coupon offered in the article when you pay in order for the donation to be made to the Pantry.

Continue ...

Recent Real Estate Sales

by Bobby Blair

Continue ...

Advertisement