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Added Oct 16 2012

Has anyone recieved any calls from the Illinois Police Department asking for donations. At least once a year I receive a call from people claiming to be from the Illinois Police Department, in the calls they either ask for a donation to help fallen officers or in one call that I recieved recently, the person tried to sell me energy efficiency light bulbs (being that the proceeds benefit families of) As a senior citizen, I have always been aware of scams and have often wondered if this is such.

  • Lori www.AllAboutFun.biz

    I get calls from them all of the time and from the Fire Department. It's also not from a business line it's from a cell phone number. I always say that unless they can send me to a website to look at or mail me something for review, that I won't even consider them. Usually at that point in time they just hang up the phone on me. They are very nice until they realize that they aren't getting anything from me. Then they turn very rude.

    I also get calls from a radio station asking for money in the same way and they usually start by singing something lame. That may just be on my business line but not sure.

    Bottom line is that I don't really know if they are legit or not, but I won't do business with people that act in that way.

  • Janis Bates Lakeview/Mom/homemaker

    I have donated before but it comes up as IL police on my i.d. and I believe it is legitimate. They send a form in the mail after you have agreed to pledge something. I shared it on facebook as well to see if anyone else may have more information. If so I will let you know.

  • Well, I would think if it's legit, it would be "Illinois State Police" rather than "Illinois Police Department", so that there would set me off. And if anyone was calling for the police, it would be the Fraternal Order of Police I think. Better to be safe than sorry and just not give anyone calling info.

  • I've gotten these calls from time to time too. They are tenacious and I've asked them to remove my name from their call list.

  • Ann I've always told them I only make donations if they put their request in writing to me. They have yet to do it!

  • Jenn Detroit transplant near Sheridan & Diversey

    I've had the same type of things happen to me when I lived in Detroit. I found out that some are legit and some aren't. They'll harass you every year just to give you a bogus sticker to put on the window of your car or house. I don't trust them. :)

  • Bob

    The Illinois courts in a decision re fund-raising by non-profit groups decided that non-profits do NOT actually have to give any of the money they raise to the stated recipient! It’s been awhile so I don’t remember all the details but the “thinking” [using the term lightly here] was that it was theoretically possible for a charity to not clear its overhead.

    However, in Illinois, I believe a charity soliciting funds must, by law, when asked, tell you how much of the charity actually goes to the stated final recipient.

    When I’ve received calls from charities stating they collect for the families of fallen police officers, I’ve been told the percent that goes to the intended final recipient is about 11%. In general, 80% would be the minimum standard for a genuine charity.

    Many telephone fund-raising charities are run for the benefit of the administrators and it is legal!

    I find this upsetting.

  • Janis Bates Lakeview/Mom/homemaker

    My husbands brother is a Chicago Police officer and his wife commented on my facebook page that it is legitimate and she donates every year.

  • The last time I received one of these calls, I asked for their 401c(3) number....and they didn't have one. That's all I needed to know.

  • d3 NOH

    it would be 501 not 401 though

  • d3 - you're right it is 501c(3) for any not-for-profit.

  • Yes -- should have been wearing my cheaters when typing! Thanks for the correction! : )

  • Neighbor Mom involved in my communities

    A news channel other than the one that owns everyblock recently did investigated some organizations collecting for wounded Veterans, abandoned dogs, etc. and found that some do not help the recipients (almost 0% of donated money helping recipients) and some help a lot. The call or mailer for a terrible charity could basically be the same as one for a good charity.

    With Chicago's crime so high, I would like to contribute to
    fallen police. However, it's inappropriate that they would call from a cell and not know the 501c (3). Especially odd is that police and other protectors say we should never give credit card or personal info (eg, social security number) on the phone if someone calls and asks for it and you cannot verify that they are who they say they are. The IL police should give their callers the 501c(3), BUT someone other than police could easily obtain that number and could call residents and ask for credit card info and use that 501(c). I will call the police directly and ask for how to contribute. Thieves are getting incredibly sophisticated and nervy.

    In general I ask charities that call me to please mail something for consideration. If they do and I want to donate, I check the EXACT organization name on a charity watchdog site and make sure a high percentage of collected donations go to the recipient. I wouldn't trust the caller to be honest on this. I also never answer my door if no one is expected and show I am home by going to a window on the second floor and waving them off.sometimes I open the window to see what they want and, if they seek money or (common in LP and LP) want me to change energy companies etc, I ask them to leave info in my mailbox or mail it to me. Lots of scams and robbers trying to get into homes and bank accounts.

  • You can contribute to the Chicago Police Memorial fallen police memorial foundation and they would greatly appreciate your support.

  • Scam.... Two best charities are the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation .http://www.cpdmemorial.org/ or the Gold Star Families.....www.cpdgoldstarfamilies.org/ The CPMF holds many events including a couple yearly runs that are a good time.

  • Always look up the Form 990 for not for profit charities. It is filed w/ the Secretary of State.

    The Illinois Police Association ends up giving less than 10% of money raised to police charities on a yearly basis.

    The also have high complaints with consumer groups about not removing phone numbers of those who request being removed.

  • nancy and d3. excellent suggestion. asking simply and politely for that org status can probably tell you all you need to know.

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