PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – An organization trying to collect money for their Shop With a Cop Program is hurting for donations after a scam is going around for the same program through a different organization.
Tyson Mitchell is the Vice President for Brothers in Blue. The group is made up of active and retired police officers, firefighters and EMS workers and they do charity work throughout the state.
"This past year we did a Paws to the Wall Poker Run to help benefit the Putnam County Animal Shelter,” Mitchell said. “Last year we helped out with the Christ Kitchen Food Bank in Saint Albans."
This year they’re trying to raise money for their Shop With a Cop program and have volunteers making calls on their behalf asking for donations. They’re hoping to help kids in Kanawha and Lincoln Counties but there’s a problem.
"We started this originally in Lincoln County but due to so many rumors of it being a scam and other people actually trying to scam people out of money, we weren't able to make enough money in the county to sustain an office down there to run out and do the collections,” he said. “So we had to stop doing collections in Lincoln County."
Mitchell said it’s frustrating because they’re trying to do something good for the community but scammers are causing a serious hang-up.
"Our whole goal is to go down there and help the community and because of these scams going on, you can't gain the trust of the community,” he said. “And so nobody's willing to give out of pocket especially in times of how the economy is now in places like Lincoln County."
One scam causing another good deed to fall on deaf ears.
Mitchell said if you think a call is a scam to give police a call and they can look into it.