Phoenix Children's Hospital warns public about fundraising scams

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation is warning Valley residents to beware of fundraising scams claiming to benefit the hospital.

According to a news release, Phoenix Children's Hospital has received phone calls from concerned residents, especially from the East Valley, regarding door-to-door sales of magazines and books alleging to raise funds for the hospital.

Scam victims have named Dynasty Sales & CCA as one of the organizations leading the bogus solicitations. Victims said young people have knocked on their doors claiming to be neighbors who are selling publications to benefit the hospital.

"Phoenix Children's Hospital never solicits door to door and we do not operate a 'magazines for kids' fundraising program," said Steve Schnall, the foundation's senior vice president.

Concerned residents should contact the hospital's foundation at 602-546-GIVE (4483) to verify fundraising programs before making a donation.

Anyone interested in supporting the hospital can donate directly through the secure "Donate NOW" page on www.phoenixchildrens.com.

The Federal Trade Commission has additional tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of fundraising scams:

-- Ask fundraisers to identify themselves and name the organization for which they are raising funds.

-- Ask how your contributions will be used. The FTC suggests getting written information.

-- Call the organization to verify a fundraiser's claim to be collecting on the organization's behalf. If the claim cannot be verified, the FTC recommends reporting the solicitation to local law enforcement officials.

-- Ask if your contribution is tax-deductible. Make your check payable to the official name of the group or charity. Avoid cash gifts.

-- Be suspicious of fundraisers suggesting you'll receive special treatment in return for your donation.

-- Don't feel intimidated about declining to give. The FTC says fundraisers who use intimidation tactics are likely to be scam artists. Report the interaction to local law enforcement officials.

More information about fraud-related fundraising is accessible through the FTC Web site, www.ftc.gov.