KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - It's almost time for the holidays and KCEOC officials estimate one-half of charitable donations are made in November and December. Police say it is also the time of year holiday scams begin.
The Christian Life Food Pantry in Barbourville depends on donations.
"That's the only thing that keeps us going because we don't have any money per se for the food pantry. it's all handled through donations," said Pat Jackson.
Knox County Sheriff's Deputies want to make sure this charity and all of the others in the area get the donations people intend for them to get. Deputies say this is the time of year when scammers try to take away from the holiday spirit.
"This time of year is a generous time for everybody when it comes to holidays. The fraud and stuff picks up," said Deputy Claude Hudson.
Deputies say scammers either try to pretend they are from a charity or will make something up.
Officials say you can check with the organization, the Better Business Bureau, or the 501(c) status to determine if the solicitation is legitimate or fraud.
"A small investigation will save you from money going to waste," said Dep. Hudson.
Places like the Christian Life Food Pantry also try to make sure no one commits fraud by trying to receive benefits when they do not need it.
"We've got it on the computer. We can check them out," said Jackson.
Deputies warn that scamming is a crime. They say they will investigate any accusations of fraud and file charges if necessary.
"They're profiting in the end and your money isn't going to who you think it is," said Deputy Hudson.
If you suspect a scam, you can report it to your local Police or Sheriff's Department.
KCEOC also issued following statement.
"KCEOC Community Action Partnership would like to take the opportunity to thank donors who so generously contribute to our Fight Against Poverty, and also wishes to warn citizens to not be fooled by scammers soliciting donations by using KCEOC's name. While KCEOC Community Action Partnership periodically asks for support from the community to keep anti-poverty initiatives running effectively, all requests will be made from authorized KCEOC staff in accordance to our Fundraising Policy.
Giving is an important part of the season, and it is our hope potential donors will not be discouraged by these scammers. We encourage everyone to stay informed and don't be afraid to ask questions. KCEOC Community Action Partnership is 501(c)3 organization and most donations are tax deductible. We have many programs designed to fight the causes of poverty in southeastern Kentucky. If you have any questions or concerns about a request you have received, or if you would like to learn more about giving opportunities, please call KCEOC's Main Office at 606-546-3152."