You probably feel at least one of these whenever someone calls and says that they're collecting for a Police or Fireman charity. That's exactly what they're counting on.
The truth is that they are not Police, and they only give 15% to the Police charity. Perhaps we should ask them if there's a way to give $15 to the Police without giving $85 to the parasites.
"Oh, those poor widows of slain Policemen!" Yes. That's right. But do these widows know that they are being exploited as bait in a scam? True, 15% does go to their fund, but this isn't some altruistic donation. This is what they have to do by law. If the telemarketers really wanted to help, they would give the lion's share to the charity. And if you really want to help, give directly to the charity and cut out the middleman. Make no mistake: The telemarketing companies are doing this FOR A PROFIT, and not out of the goodness of their hearts, at least not the ones I have run into.
The thoughts flash through everyone's mind: "If I give, maybe the police won't give me a speeding ticket," or "If I DON'T give, maybe they will find a reason to give me a ticket!"
"Maybe the firemen will take their sweet time getting to my house if it catches on fire!"
You know that's not true, but there's that nagging doubt... that feeling of guilt which has been carefully scripted and works effectively, even when delivered by the most inept telemarketer. You just want to escape the situation without looking/feeling like a scrooge. Until recently, I never even gave my standard defense or wrote down the information about these people. I would have felt like a slime attacking a "charity."
Well, that's simply wrong. Just keep in mind that this IS a scam. They are PREYING upon your fears and insecurities and presenting themselves as charitable, while turning a profit, and that's more dispicable than telemarketing an honest product. You may not be able to sue the charity fund (nor would I condone it), but you CAN still find out who this "generous" telemarketing firm is. Treat them like any other telemarketing firm--make them cry!
We should keep in mind, too, that there quite possibly ARE legitimate charities (even police charities) out there. I think the vast majority of charities soliciting via telephone wouldn't fit MY definition of a charitable cause, though, and I would criticize them for selecting this medium for soliciting donations. No matter what medium is used, you should always find out where the money goes before pledging any.