Don't fall for pink bag pitch
The latest scam filtering through the Piedmont comes pretty in pink with its pitch.
Consumer advocates are warning people not to respond to house-to-house solicitations left by representatives of a disreputable charity based out of Georgia. Residents of Winston-Salem recently reported finding pink donation bags on mailboxes for a group that supposedly addresses domestic violence.
But the Better Business Bureau and the N.C. Attorney General’s Office say the supposed charity has a poor track record, providing little to none of the donations to a cause helping those in need. The group has gone by the name Hope House or Hope for Domestic Violence.
The Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina, whose coverage area includes Guilford and Randolph counties as well as Thomasville, hasn’t received widespread reports from people receiving the pink bag solicitation.
“We did receive a call from a woman in Jamestown that said she received a phone solicitation for items to be donated,” said Kevin Hinterberger, president of the Greensboro-based Better Business Bureau chapter.
Media outlets in the Charlotte area have reported that pink bags are showing up in neighborhoods there.
The N.C. Attorney General’s Office in the past has received inquiries and complaints from people across the state about the pink bag solicitation.
A legitimate charity in North Carolina uses the name Hope House but isn’t connected with the group soliciting through the pink bags, said Noelle Talley, public information officer with the Attorney General’s Office out of Raleigh. The Huntersville-based Hope House Foundation has a message on its website emphasizing that it’s not associated with the illegitimate Georgia-based outfit.
Talley said people should be wary of unsolicited requests from charities with which they aren’t familiar. By researching a cause before giving, she said, “you can do your homework to make sure you’re giving to a legitimate group that will use your donations the way you intend.”
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The Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina serves as a clearinghouse for consumer information. In addition to providing background checks on local businesses, the BBB can pass along consumer complaints to state and federal monitoring agencies.
The BBB serves Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham counties and the city of Thomasville in Davidson County. (Davidson County outside of Thomasville is served by the BBB of Northwest North Carolina based in Winston-Salem.) For more information, call the BBB of Central North Carolina office in Greensboro at 632-4976 or check Web site www.greensboro.bbb.org.