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North Hills Community Outreach: Beware of telephone scam

Tony LaRussa
| Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 2:21 p.m.

A North Hills nonprofit serving needy residents has a warning: There's a new telephone scam using the organization's name solicit money.

“We had a report that a woman claiming to be from North Hills Community Outreach is calling people and soliciting donations for children,” said Sharon Wolf, the organization's executive director. “We were alerted by a regular donor who received a call from the woman, who used abusive language with the man when he said he couldn't donate at this time.”

She said NHCO is not currently conducting a telephone fundraising campaign.

Anyone receiving a call should not send money or divulge their credit card number, said Wolf. She said anyone receiving a call should note the telephone number identifying where the call originated and forward to her organization and the local police department.

“One of our board members is a police lieutenant in Shaler, so he was made aware of the scam, and we notified the police in Hampton where our office is located,” Wolf said.

Wolf said the organization next telephone fundraising campaigns will be from April 3 to 5. When soliciting, NHCO follows these guidelines:

• Only people who previously donated to NHCO are contacted.

• Calls are typically made by the organization's board members or volunteers, who are courteous and do not pressure donors to give money.

• Solicitations for donations that are mailed to homes come in an envelope bearing the organization's green logo. The return envelope inside is marked with the group's address: 1975 Ferguson Road, Allison Park , PA 15101.

• Volunteers regularly call to thank people for making contributions, but additional solicitations are not made during those calls.

“One of the most important things we want is for people not to be afraid to donate to us because we rely on those contributions to help low-income families in our community,” Wolf said. “But we want people to be cautious and avoid becoming victims.”

NHCO serves about 4,000 low-income families each year in 50 North Hills communities.

For more information, or to report details after receiving a fraudulent telephone solicitation, call 412-487-6316, opt 1, or send an email to: help@nhco.org.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368 or tlarussa@tribweb.com.

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