Caller name: Association For Police & First Responders (Political Action Committee [PAC])
Caller type: Telemarketer
While I absolutely support Police and First Responders, this was an unsolicited call for donations to support an organization I know nothing about. Pushy. REMOVE MY NAME AND NUMBER FROM DATABASE. If I want to contribute to a cause, I WILL research and reach out.
Caller name: Association for Police & First Responders (Political Action Committee [PAC])
Caller type: Telemarketer
(551) 240-0090 Live fund raising solicitation call recorded 15 December 2017 ["Stan", soliciting donations for the Association of Police & First Responders, a Political Action Committee (PAC)]
Caller ID: "Union City NJ"
I missed a call from (551) 240-0090 and was curious when I saw comments about this phone number on the Internet so I decided to call it using a spoofed telephone number to preserve my anonymity. The call I missed was a live call soliciting donations for Association for Police & First Responders, a Political Action Committee (PAC) whose web page claims they are "...a non-partisan independent expenditure-only group established under Section 527 of the tax code..."
What "tax code"? It's not capitalized. Do they mean the Federal Tax Code? Or a State tax code? Or a city in Timbuktu?
Their web page also displays:
"Our mission is to educate Members of Congress about issues important to Police & First Responders and to help elect candidates to office who support those issues..."
If this is true, then why did someone during this call with an India accent want me to donate money for a memorial to fallen Police and First Responders? Hmm, quite suspicious in my mind.
The phone connection was poor and very choppy with a lot of back-and-forth repetition so we could understand each other. I tried to edit out much of it in the below transcript but you will notice areas where the answer to a question doesn't seem to match the question asked.
Association for Police & First Responders does have a professional web page that does not impress me and the content seems much to general which suggests to me that it is not a wise idea to donate to their cause. It is a PAC and donations are exclusively for the benefit of the PAC yet they wanted to collect money for a memorial to fallen Officers and First Responders.
When any solicitor calls asking for donations, I find it best to waste their time by agreeing to donate a larger than average amount and give them a fake name and address. I was surprised that they didn't ask for a credit card, they wanted to send me a pledge form that I could return "with a check or money order." More of their scam time is wasted calling me back a week or two later to try to correct the invalid address I've provided, or to try to get me to donate using a credit card, but since I called them using a spoofed phone number and a phony mailing address, they won't be able to get in touch with me.
This call was unusual in another very important detail. The screener I spoke with had a New York accent (definitely from one of the Manhatten boroughs) but when he connected me to the business office to take my pledge details, the man on the line had a heavy India accent with foreign, non standard English ("say me your last name" and "say me your address"). Why would they connect me to a foreigner (and from India of all places?) to make a donation? Do you know where your money goes? Not if you donate to Association for Police & First Responders.
Here is an edited transcript of this scam donation solicitation:
[male 1:] "Hello, this is Stan, thanks for calling back. How are you today?"
[me:] "Good thanks, Stan. How are you today?"
[male 1:] "I'm fine, thanks, the reason for the call uh the Association for Police and First Responders is reaching out to you for their fundraiser. Uh this helps elect lawmakers who support death benefits for families of police offices tragically killed in the line of duty as well as assistance to injured police officers and first responders. Now we're providing the donation return envelope to all supporters. Uh when you receive your donation return envelope can we count on you to return a small donation for the drive."
[me:] "Uh yeah. Yes, definitely."
[male 1:] "Our top donation levels of 50, 35 and $25. Can the association count on your support with one of these."
[me:] "Uh what was the top donation again?"
[male 1:] "Our top donation levels of 50, 35 and $25. Can the Association count on your support with one of these."
[me:] "Uh yes actually the I would like to pledge more. I would like to pledge $350."
[male 1:] "Thank you. And is that amount definitely comfortable for you."
[male 1:] "Okay. What I'm going to do is get a verifier for you. They're gonna verify the amount as well as your name and address. Hold for a second okay?"
[male 1:] "And is that amount definitely comfortable for you."
[me:] "Oh yes." [electronic tones]
[male 2:] "Thank you for supporting the Association for Police and First Responders, my name is R.C. Aikensteal. How I mean how much are you willing to donate?"
[male 2:] "I can hear you. Thank you so much. We can print an invoice...yes sir I can hear you. We can print an invoice of a hundred dollar, but you can still send more once you receive that if that would be an additional blessing. I just need the name and address for you to receive the envelope sir. What is your last name please."
[me:] "But I said three hundred and fifty dollars."
[male 2:] "Yes sir, but you can still send more once you receive that if that would be an additional blessing, ah huh. We can print only as I said before we can print only an invoice up to 100."
[me:] "I see, okay. I understand. My name my name is Chris Chris Newkirk."
[male 2:] "Can you please spell me the last name. En e double you kay eye are kay, Newkirk? Chris is sea aich are eye es?"
[me:] "En e double you kay eye yes, correct."
[male 2:] "And address please? The mailing address?"
[me:] "I live at 3032 Duke Lane, yes, 3032 Duke Lane, and that's in Red Bank, New Jersey, 07701."
[male 2:] "Is there any apartment or unit number I need to add, is there any apartment..."
[male 2:] "Okay. Can you please, one three three two, thirteen thirty two Duke Lane, hello?"
[me:] "Uh no, three zero, three two. Three zero, three two."
[male 2:] "And can you please spell me the street name?"
[me:] "Yes. Three zero, three two. Duke Lane."
[male 2:] "Can you please spell me your first name."
[me:] "Dee you kay e, Duke."
[male 2:] "Oh, good, and uh city, state and ZIP Code."
[me:] "Chris sea aich. Yes, Red Bank, New Jersey 07701."
[male 2:] "So let me just double check your address, correct me if I'm wrong. Three zero, three two, Duke, de you kay e, lane, Red Bank, New Jersey 07701. Right?"
[male 2:] "Is there any apartment or unit number I need to add?"
[me:] "No, no, the address is good. Just as you read it."
[male 2:] "Okay. Okay so Chris, thank you, you'll receive your invoice for a generous donation of 100 dollar along with our donation envelope and all we ask that you please send a check or a money order back as soon as you receive it because every minute counts and so can we count on you? Can you send back the envelope?"
[me:] "Oh yes yes, yes most definitely."
[male 2:] "Thank you so much, have a wonderful day, stay safe, okay. Bye. Bye now. Happy Holidays. Stay safe. Merry Christmas." [I play cricket chirps]
[me:] "Uh you too. Goodbye." [beep tone and disconnect]
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