Los Angeles Homeless Missions Fight Fund-raising Fraud

Nov 04, 2002 03:00 AM EST

LOS ANGELES--Worried over people collecting money door-to-door in their names only to pocket the funds, three Los Angeles homeless missions have joined forces with local and state officials to fight fraud in charitable giving during the holiday season.

Brenda Singer, representative of the Los Angeles Mission, said her organization received an "influx" of calls earlier in the fall from potential donors approached at the door to give money. Neither LAM, nor its cohort organizations, the Union Rescue Mission and the Midnight Mission, solicit funds door-to-door.

After LAM got a call from Midnight Mission reporting the same problem, Singer said, LAM decided to spearhead a campaign to warn the public against crooks trying to make money at the expense of the poor. The effort has been assisted by the Los Angeles Police Department, as well as the Better Business Bureau and the California attorney general.In addition to holding a news conference, the missions prepared radio announcements warning the public to call the police if asked for money in person on behalf of the missions.

The anti-fraud campaign comes at a crucial time because Americans are especially generous in charitable giving during the holiday season, missions officials said.

By Albert H. Lee