Police warn of possible scam

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sometimes charity isn’t the best action, warns a Troy Police officer.

Sgt. Benny Scarbrough is cautioning residents of Troy to be wary of a woman soliciting donations from the public.

“There’s a lady going around town asking people for money,” he said. “Whether it’s a violation of the law or not, I think it’s an obligation on my part to let people know it’s going on.”

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Scarbrough said he and the police department have received several reports from individuals that they have been approached by a woman described as being white and approximately 35 or 40 years old over the course of the past several weeks.

In all cases, she asks for money. In many cases, the individuals have given the woman money.

“She portrays herself as somebody who fell on hard luck with her family,” he said. “She says she’s been in a domestic abuse shelter … sometimes she says her mother is in Troy Regional Medical Center having open heart surgery, sometimes she says she has to go to Georgia to get her children.”

Other times, he said, she tells people she had to spend the night in a hotel with her children. “Basically they hear her story and they feel the need to help her,” he said.

But Scarbrough warns that story may not be entirely true. Scarbrough said police do believe they know the identity of the woman, and he has personally visited her residence in Troy.

“People need to be aware that a person can tell you something that sounds very traumatic and it is really just very dramatic,” he said.