ALTON, Ill. – While numerous people are showing sympathy and love for the bereaved family of St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder, some heartless predators are taking advantage of the situation.
Alton Police gave a warning to residents to avoid being a victim of a fundraising scam collecting gifts from people who want to donate money to the family, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
According to St. Louis County Police Department, the only entities that are collecting money on behalf of the family are St. Louis County Police Welfare Association and BackStoppers, Inc.
Alton police warning against fake fundraiser for fallen St. Louis County officer https://t.co/sFvkB8XzRG
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch (@stltoday) October 18, 2016
Alton Police Department issued a statement on its Facebook page regarding the scam:
It has been brought to our attention that there may be a new scam targeting the generosity of our citizens. At least one city employee received a call from an individual claiming to be from the Illinois State Police requesting she donate to “the family of the recently fallen officer.” ISP is not conducting a fundraising campaign of this nature at this time.
If you choose to donate to Officer Snyder’s family or the family of any fallen officer, please confirm the organization you choose is legitimate and will get the money to those who deserve it.
You do NOT need to call us to advise if you get this call. Simply end the conversation without providing the caller with any personal info or money.
St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder was killed October 6 while responding to a disturbance call in Green Park. He was laid to rest in Godfrey, Illinois on Thursday, October 13.
BackStoppers, who aims to eliminate all debts for the spouses and children of first responders killed in the line of duty, has seen donations for Snyder’s family top $200,000, according to officer manager Jacki Battele. By comparison, the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, the Budweiser Guns ’N Hoses boxing event, garners between $200,000 and $300,000 for the group.
The St. Louis County Police Welfare Association has raised about $100,000 for the Snyder family. The organization’s largest annual fundraiser, a golf tournament, usually raises $30,000 to $40,000. The association also has ordered about 30,000 T-shirts memorializing Snyder, said Lt. Karl Bulla, president of the group.
On Monday night at a fundraising event in Fenton, one of the auction items was a mini battery-powered car that a company made into a replica of Snyder’s police car, complete with his badge number on the license plates. The organizers were inspired to challenge the crowd to bid on it and sign over the title to Snyder’s son who saw the mini-car and said “Daddy.”
Bulla said, “That car sold for $12,000. Two people were bidding against each other, and it got to $6,000, so they decided to both donate together to raise even more money for the family. It’s been incredible.”