State Patrol warns of an Amber Alert scam
The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has received reports from a number of citizens who received calls soliciting donations to support “AMBER Alerts.” In part of the solicitation, the callers report the money being raised goes to support the AMBER Alert program, including that 30 percent of the funds are for overhead costs associated with the program. At least one solicitation indicated they were calling on behalf of WSP.
This information is inaccurate; WSP does not rely on public donations for the administration of the AMBER Alert system.
These calls appear to be a scam. The State Patrol oversees the AMBER Alert system in Washington. Most local agencies across the state have their own approved plans, which are implemented when a child is abducted or goes missing under suspicious circumstances.
Neither WSP, local agencies, nor anyone on the Patrol’s behalf is soliciting funds to support the AMBER Alert system in Washington State. The origin of these calls is unknown and WSP currently lacks sufficient information to begin an investigation.
The State Patrol has confirmed the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and amberalert.com are not doing any fundraising or telephone solicitations.
Before donating to a charity, it’s important to research the charity before you make a contribution. The Washington Secretary of State’s website provides some excellent resources to help the public identify legitimate charities. The bottom line is individuals contacted for donations should ask questions before making a contribution.
For more information go to the Washington Secretary of State’s website at http://www.sos.wa.gov/charities/consumer. Consumers can also get information on the state’s Amber Alert Plan at http://www.wsp.wa.gove/crime/amber.htm.