The executive director of a domestic violence support group says a woman posing as a member of their group has struck in Grove City, Hilliard, and Galloway.
“This organization prides itself on helping victims of domestic violence,” said Sharon McCloy-Reichard, executive director of Choices.
McCloy-Reichard said she is not only saddened that someone would take advantage of that, but also angry.
“This is fraud, this is fraud because they're putting the money in their pocket. Why they chose us, I don’t know,” said McCloy-Reichard.
McCloy-Reichard said Choices does not solicit money, but someone is using its name to scam people.
“She's got like a plastic sleeve that has alleged credentials showing that she's official, and she's from Choices and doing it on behalf of the staff, said McCloy-Reichard.
She said it’s been happening every few months. The most recent incident was reported about two weeks ago. A woman allegedly asked Kroger customers for money in a parking lot in Galloway. The woman has also appeared at churches in Hilliard.
"One of these victims called and said she came right up to the window and solicited when they got home. They called, but by the time police got there she was gone" added McCloy-Reichard.
It happened again about three months later down in Grove City at a Best Buy store.
Choices said they have received phone calls from customers asking about the legitimacy of a woman in this parking lot soliciting donations. They said they believe it's the same woman.
Grove City police said they have sent out an alert to their officers to look for the woman.
McCloy-Reichard said she fears the scammer has moved onto other communities.
"We don't want that type of reputation that we're out soliciting in parking lots. Some people give because they feel like they're bad if they don't. I mean who doesn't want to give to women who've been battered?” said McCloy-Reichard.
Police want to remind people that if you want to give, check for valid credentials, and never hesitate to call the organization when approached to make sure it's legitimate.
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