telemarketers scam warningOfficials are warning consumers about people calling for donations, pretending to be raising money for the Department of Child Services -- a department which does not exist.

Indiana Deputy Attorney General Abigail Kuzma says that government agencies or departments will never solicit charitable donations (they're funded directly by your tax dollars; they don't have to ask.)

The callers say that "someone" from the home committed to a donation a month ago and they are just calling to follow up. Apparently the Caller ID sometimes shows as "child services.""Scams disguised as charities are especially disheartening because not only do those making a donation lose, so do all the legitimate charities that could have put the money to good use benefiting our communities," Kuzma said.

"It's important to ask questions and don't feel pressured to give. Any legitimate non-profit is going to be happy to provide you with more information about their services and programs so you can make an informed decision about donating."

This isn't the first scam involving telemarketers pretending to be government officials. In May, officials issued a warning about a con where people pretended to be from the California Department of Consumer affairs and demanded that money was owed on an old payday loan.

Kuzma says that consumers can protect themselves in several ways:
  • Beware of callers who claim endorsement by the state.
  • Be suspicious if a caller thanks you for making a pledge that you didn't make.
  • You can cancel a pledge prior to making a contribution. In Indiana, a contributor has the right to cancel a pledge for monetary contributions at any time prior to making the contribution.
To check out whether charities are legitimate, here are a couple of resources.

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