Posted by Dave Dykema - email
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Scam artists are using the charity Make-A-Wish's name to steal money from people nationwide.
Make-A-Wish helps kids with life threatening illnesses fulfill their dreams.
Annually, it grants just under 14,000 wishes a year. Locally, the chapter grants about 80.
Children like Tyler Schilt and Tyler Coakley both got to get their minds off their rare diseases and into the moment when their wishes were granted.
But scam artists want to end the dream.
"They're calling people and saying 'hey, you won a sweepstakes!' asking people to pay the taxes and there will be a large payout," Eric Slough of NW Ohio Make-A-Wish said.
One woman lost $200,000 while another paid more than $20,000. While it hasn't happened here yet, Slough wants to make sure it never does.
"Do your homework. Make sure you know who you're calling and who you're giving too," Slough warns.
If you get a call from someone soliciting funds over the phone, hang up. Make-A-Wish does not solicit funds over the phone. Ask them to send you information in writing and call the charity directly.
Working with a local presence is usually a safe bet.
Any questions call the Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General's office.
Make sure to never give out personal information.
Copyright 2010 WTOL. All rights reserved.