SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A police investigation is underway into a report that two individuals, a male, and female, were outside the Whitemarsh Walmart about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, impersonating Humane Society of Greater Savannah employees.
The couple was reportedly telling patrons that the animal shelter can no longer accept cash donations due to a new law by President Trump prohibiting non-profit groups from accepting cash. They were instead, trying to get patrons to give them their credit and debit card information for donations to the Humane Society.
“They were preying on people’s good intentions and good hearts using the Humane Society name. It’s not only theft from the Humane Society it is potentially identity theft, but they also have access to these people’s financial information and the repercussions of that are just terrible,” said Jennifer Ray, Development Director with the Humane Society.
Ray says her organization is in no way associated or affiliated with this couple, but unsuspecting donors were duped and right now, there is no telling how many people fell for the scam.
“They were actively approaching pretty much anybody coming in or out,” said Ray. “She did see quite a few people stop and talk to them, which is unnerving considering that those people might now be a victim of credit card fraud.”
The bogus fundraisers are one of two schemes brought to their attention in 24 hours. Ray said there are reports that candy dispensing machines are reportedly set up in their name too.
“Any of those machines that have those labels or claim to be benefiting the Humane Society are not tied to our organization in any way. We have no candy machines. We have not seen a dime of that,” Ray said, adding these scams are slaps to the faces of everyone working and volunteering for the shelter.
“Everybody’s always working, always striving for the mission and to think that somebody would just steal from them, ah, from us, and from the animals is…it’s disgusting is what it is,” said Ray.
The Chatham County Police Department is investigating this case of reported fraud. They say the first thing victims should do is contact the bank that issued the debit or credit card so it can be canceled.
Also, victims are urged to report what happened to Chatham County Police.
Victims can call (912)-652-6500 ext. 5. It’s a non-emergency number that’s answered 24 hours a day. Anyone with information about the suspects should call 912-652-6920 or you can contact CrimeStoppers anonymously at 912-234-2020. Tipsters are anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.