D.C. police yesterday warned residents and businesses to beware of a telephone solicitor requesting contributions on behalf of the NAACP for a fund in honor of the 22 dead or missing children in Atlanta.
No such fund-raising activity is being sponsored by the NAACP, according to local and national NAACP officials and police here and in Atlanta. Police said the telephone solicitor is a fraud and ask that anyone who may have been contacted by such a person please notify the police check and fraud division at 727-4159.
"To think that someone is trying to sponge off this unhappy situation by using the name of the NAACP is ridiculous," said Leonard Kolodny, an official of the Greater Washington Board of Trade who brought the fraudulent scheme to the police department's attention.
In Atlanta this week, police arrested two persons they said were soliciting contributions in the name of the missing and dead children in Atlanta and pocketing the money, an Atlanta police spokesman said.
Here in Washington, several businessmen received calls this week from a man who said he was a representative of the NAACP.
Police and Kolodny said the person told the businessmen that they could take out advertisements for a yearbook that would be published in honor of the dead children or they could contribute money.
The telephone solicitor gave one businessman a telephone number where he could be reached and when the businessman called the number, the person who answered gave the last four digits of the phone number and said nothing about the NAACP.
Sgt. William Harrison of the check and fraud squad said telephone solicitors for such contributions are required to be licensed by the city's department of licenses and permits. No license is on file for any person or organization to solicit funds in the name of the missing and dead children in Atlanta, police said.