Authorities in New Jersey are warning residents about a recent surge in scams involving the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Scammers are taking advantage of people’s goodwill and respect for law enforcement by impersonating FOP representatives and attempting to solicit funds for fake causes.
Reports have surfaced across the state of individuals receiving unsolicited phone calls, emails, or mail claiming to be from the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police. The scammers use various tactics to manipulate potential victims into believing they are supporting legitimate law enforcement initiatives. Some common tactics include:
- Charity Appeals: Scammers may claim to be raising funds for causes such as supporting injured officers, providing educational materials to schools, or assisting the families of fallen officers.
- Soliciting Donations: The scammers often ask for monetary donations, claiming that the funds will directly benefit law enforcement initiatives. They may provide fake websites or phone numbers for victims to make donations.
- Threats and Emotional Manipulation: Some scammers resort to emotional manipulation, implying that refusing to donate would demonstrate a lack of support for law enforcement or put officers at risk.
The New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police has issued a statement confirming that they do not engage in unsolicited fundraising efforts through phone calls, emails, or mail. Legitimate fundraising efforts are typically conducted through official events, partnerships, or reputable platforms.
Law enforcement officials advise residents to take the following precautions to avoid falling victim to such scams:
- Verify Identity: Before making any donations, verify the identity of the organization or individual contacting you. Look up official contact information for the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police and contact them directly to confirm the legitimacy of any fundraising campaign.
- Be Skeptical: Be cautious of unsolicited communications, especially those that pressure you to make immediate donations or provide personal information.
- Research Charities: Before donating to any organization, research their legitimacy by checking official websites, contacting relevant authorities, and reading reviews or news articles about their activities.
- Protect Personal Information: Avoid sharing sensitive personal or financial information with unknown callers or entities.
- Report Suspicious Activity: If you receive a suspicious call, email, or request for donations, report it to local law enforcement or the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
As the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police works with law enforcement agencies to track down and apprehend the scammers, residents are urged to remain vigilant and cautious when receiving donation requests. It’s essential to protect both your finances and the integrity of legitimate charitable organizations.