Better Business Bureau Investigating Charity Scams

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The holiday season is often a time for giving, but some people may be trying to take advantage of your charitable spirit.

Police and the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama have been receiving reports of people trying to raise funds for charities that may not actually exist.

On Friday, the owner of The Masters Salon off of Memorial Parkway reported three men who came into the salon asking for donations for a family member who had passed away.

"When the gentleman made it to the top of the stairs he turned to me with the laminated obituary card for this family member and told me the saga and I realized at that point that this might be a scam type of thing where they’re just trying to get money from people," said Brett Pierce, an owner of The Masters.

Pierce then called police and the BBB. The men left the salon, but were in the parking lot soliciting donations when the police arrived.

"I spoke with the city clerk at Phil Campbell, where the woman in the obituary was from, and she told me this group is notorious for traveling around to towns in the area to solicit money for people," said Pierce. "They’ve done it with items that they’ve sold to tragedies they’re trying to get money for."

"We’ve started having reports of questionable solicitations by phone as well. We talked to a man from Sheffield who was contacted by the Children’s Cancer Society of America," said Michele Mason of the BBB.

Mason says their own investigation has shown the Children’s Cancer Society of America may not be a legitimate charity.

“We reached out to the Attorney General’s office and they have no registration, yet they told one of our employees who got a call that they were registered," said Mason.

They also discovered the organization isn’t listed among the IRS’s tax exempt charitable foundations.

"There are some red flags popping up with this one and we would like people to take their take to let us learn more about this charity to see if they are using funds properly or if they’re a true 501c3 charity that’s able to solicit donations."