By MEG GREY
Times Staff Intern
Northview High School Principal Ken Wallace is asking Clay County residents to think twice before supporting area schools.
A group out of Texas is running a scam in which they ask for monetary support for area schools from local businesses and organizations. This group has not been authorized by anyone involved with the schools to help with fundraisers. The money they collect does not benefit locals as they promise and the group pockets the money for their own use.
"You've got companies like this from Texas and New Jersey and other places who come to small towns like the ones here in Indiana because they are able to take advantage of good people who are acting under the assumption that they are helping their local school," Wallace said.
Linda Nicoson was approached by a company out of Pennsylvania that claimed they were selling advertising space on a flyer that would be available throughout the community for the entire basketball season for $200. Nicoson was promised that by using her credit card she would receive a discount. She agreed and was told that a woman would be getting in touch with her in a few days. The lady called in a few hours and claimed she did not know the man who had sold Nicoson the space. Something smelled fishy. Nicoson then declined the order and cut up the credit card in order to stop the charge for $209.
Wallace said this is a growing and common scam. When he worked in Greensburg, Ind., a similar scam was run by a group from New Jersey that went to area businesses asking for $120-$150 for advertising in a calendar for members of the community. Within a time span of 3 hours the group had collected several thousand dollars for a calendar that did not exist. He asks that if a person not directly involved with the school contacts someone, ask questions to verify that what they are soliciting will truly benefit Clay County schools. Ask for the name of the person in charge of the fundraiser so they can be contacted in order to confirm where your dollars are going. Because these scams are running rampid and becoming more and more prevalent the calls may become more common like other telemarketers.
Wallace says, "If you don't know the person soliciting fundraisers for the school, don't do business with them."