Lexington police warn that a scam artist may be trying to rob residents by claiming to be raising money for a police officers' charitable program.
Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said Friday that someone called a local business owner earlier this week, seeking a donation for "Shop With A Cop," a Christmas charity for disadvantaged children run by the Fraternal Order of Police.
Roberts said Shop With A Cop was not raising money at the time, and the caller did not represent the program. The business owner became suspicious and hung up without donating any money, she said.
"It's pretty clear it was a scam," she said. "The caller really did not know what they were talking about; it was obvious that they were not a Fraternal Order of Police representative."
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Police have received only one complaint so far. But Roberts said anyone who thinks they might have been contacted by the phony Shop With A Cop caller should call the division of police or the FOP in Lexington.
Meanwhile, police are urging residents to be careful if they get solicitation calls from anyone claiming to represent Shop With A Cop.
Roberts said to check Caller ID for some indication that the call is coming from the police or the FOP. Legitimate callers also will identify themselves as being police officers or representing the FOP, she said.
Also, Shop With a Cop happens in December, Roberts said. Shop With a Cop allows needy children to go Christmas shopping with police officers to buy presents for siblings or parents.
Officers are particularly concerned because the scam involves a police program, Roberts said.
"It's very disheartening ... to see someone try to take advantage of a program that's so near to our hearts and helps so many kids," she said.