(KMOV) -- A Lincoln County woman was a victim of a scam that posed as a group raising funds for hospitalized children.
Kim May called News 4’s Mike Colombo after she gave money to a group claiming to be “Fit For Life” who were going door-to-door raising money for a fundraiser for St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
May gave the teenage girl and boy $20 but later learned the same group was using her name in their pitch to other neighbors down the road. The teens were telling others May gave them $65.
After neighbors contacted authorities they learned this was a known scam.
Suzanne Fontaine who oversees fundraising for St. Louis Children’s Hospital says it’s not unusual for scammers to use their name.
“It seems about once a year, we get a call from someone asking if this is a legitimate fundraising activity,” Fontaine said.
May also fell victim to a similar scam a few years ago when the same group said they were collecting funds for Cardinal Glennon Hospital.
It can be hard to know if solicitors are legitimate but Fontaine said “If your guy is telling you it isn’t right, you’re probably right.”
A few steps to protect others from falling victim to these scam artists include asking for documentation from the charity approving the fundraising effort, and become suspicious if they play up what neighbors may have given.
Also, ask to see a permit if the city or area requires one to solicit.