(WMC-TV) - Someone is taking advantage of two Memphis gems – Tiger Hoops and St. Jude. The scammer claims once playing for the former and now collecting donations for the latter.
A woman said a man used the two organizations to con her and a handful of other people she knows. She only lost a small amount, but does not want anyone else to fall for it.
"Sometimes your emotion outruns your common sense, and they may get you to give money that ultimately you're going to regret having given," said Randy Hutchinson with the Better Business Bureau.
By phone a woman, who did not want to share her name, said the man claimed he was collecting donations for St. Jude and sold her a T-shirt. She gave him $15.
Then he told her she could pick up the shirt at the road race at AutoZone Park, but that event does not exist.
St. Jude said this is not a method in which they fundraise.
The woman scammed said the man who tried to sell her a shirt was named Chris Hamilton. He also said he played for the Tigers under Josh Pastner, and wore number 48. The U of M said current athletes do not fundraise and that no one by that name has ever played under Pastner. Also, 48 is not a number they assign.
"The sad thing is the money ... That could have gone to the legitimate charity has now gone to a crook," said Hutchinson.
Hutchinson suggests taking your time before parting with hard-earned money no matter the cause.
"Our standard piece of advice is check it out before you give the money. Don't be pressured into giving it," he said. "Sometimes just asking for written information will separate out the scammers from legitimate charities."
The woman said the same man called her neighbor, too, but that he used a different name. She said the neighbor told her he did recognize the guy as a former player.
The Action News 5 investigators are still working to learn more on this case. If you know anything call our investigators tip line at 866-518-9082 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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