AUBURN — Police on Friday were advising that not all charitable organizations are what they claim to be.

A group calling itself the Foundation for American Veterans was making random phone calls this week, police said, and seeking contributions from Mainers.

The phone calls, police said, were coming from the number 207-613-1764 and callers were claiming that money collected would go to veterans hospitals and programs.

Not so fast, police said.

“Be aware that the Better Business Bureau advises caution when dealing with these callers, who can become very aggressive when attempting to solicit donations,” according to the police alert. “Among its major contractors, according to the BBB notice, is Associated Community Services, or ACS, of Southfield, Michigan, a business with a 10-year contract to make phone calls on behalf of the charity. ACS has had a troubled history with state and federal law enforcement authorities.”

According to the BBB, that particular charity received less than 14 percent of the money raised in the campaigns — much of that 14 percent went to other contractors, salaries and additional overhead expenses.

The website Charity Watch gave the charity an F grade.

“The Auburn Police Department reminds you to use caution,” the alert said, “and do your homework when considering a financial gift to charity.”


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