A group telling residents it represents police officers raising money on behalf of handicapped children is apparently fraudulent, according to legitimate police associations and Weber State College officials.
They have received reports that a group identifying itself as the Utah Alliance of Peace Officers has been trying to sell tickets by telephone for a benefit concert at WSC's Dee Events Center on May 25.However, no organization by that name is registered to solicit funds with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection although its name is similar to two other organizations that are registered, the Utah Alliance of Police Officers and the Utah Peace Officers Association.
Craig Nelson, with the Weber State College public relations office, said no concert has been scheduled for May 25 in the Dee Events Center, and he is urging residents not to deal with the group promising tickets for that date.
Darren Orr, a fund-raiser for the properly registered Utah Alliance of Police Officers, said telephone solicitors for the apparently fraudulent organization called two Bountiful police officers at home and asked for donations. The police then began an investigation of the group.
Orr said that unregistered group has asked residents to donate up to $75 for a block of tickets, then sends runners to collect the money.
Bountiful Police Lt. Don Taylor said officers confronted one of those runners Wednesday as he tried to collect a pledge from a Bountiful businessman. The runner, however, was not arrested, he said.
"We are still investigating the incident, and our city attorney will be meeting with the owner of the company that is doing phone solications to answer questions we have regarding his operation," Taylor said.
Orr said he worried that situation could hurt fund raising by his group, which he said is properly following state law. Orr's group is asking residents by phone to buy tickets to a circus at the Salt Palace on June 25.
The legitimate Utah Peace Officers Association does not solicit donations for charity, but is registered to solicit ads for its publications.
Orr said his group had also received complaints that the non-registered group may have conducted similar solicitations three months ago in Brigham City.
Phyllis Frankel, an investigator with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, said residents should check with her office to see whether an organization is properly registered to solicit funds before actually donating money to them.