Scam worries Red Cross officials

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 25, 2004

WILLIAMSTON – Local officials with the American Red Cross (ARC) have been placed on alert concerning a possible scam artist posing as an ARC volunteer.

Judi Miller, Executive Director with the Martin/Bertie County Red Cross chapter, said she was informed yesterday (Wednesday) morning that a person, bearing an ARC identification card, was soliciting money from unsuspecting victims.

&uot;This person is apparently going from house to house, requesting repayment for assistance given by the Red Cross during Hurricanes Floyd and Isabel,&uot; said Miller. &uot;This is an outright scam. Please, do not give this individual any money.&uot;

Miller stressed that all ARC disaster assistance funding is offered free.

&uot;We do not ever, ever expect to be repaid,&uot; she noted. &uot;The services we offer in times of need, such as hurricanes and other natural disasters, are offered through donations and the generosity of the American public. We do accept donations, but we do not accept any sort of payment or reimbursement for any of our disaster relief programs.&uot;

Miller said she was made aware of the possible scam from an ARC official in the Fayetteville office. That official told Miller that they informed of the scam by a relative living in Bertie County.

&uot;We are under the impression that the relative living in Bertie County may have been a target or a victim of this scam,&uot; stated Miller. &uot;We are working very closely with the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office in an attempt to verify the identity of the possible victim as well as making each and every attempt to discover the person responsible for this scam.&uot;

Miller said the ARC identification being used in the scam was a major concern.

&uot;We do not know if it is or is not a legitimate identification card,&uot; she noted. &uot;What we do know is that none of our Red Cross volunteers are currently involved in any type of fund raising efforts. Even if they were, none would attempt to pass themselves off as an agent of the ARC attempting to recover funds given freely to victims of Hurricanes Floyd and Isabel.&uot;

Miller urged anyone contacted by an ARC representative to first check with her office (252-792-2661) or the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office (252-794-5330).