Man’s raffle scam using United Way name shut down

Police put an end to a man using Jackson County United Way’s name to raise money for his personal use Friday on Seymour’s east side.

The scam involved the sale of raffle tickets for children’s bicycles for a drawing that was to be conducted today.

“He had a little cardboard sign he had made up and some raffle tickets,” Assistant Police Chief Craig Hayes said of the investigation conducted by Officer Devin Cornwell.

That investigation began Friday afternoon when police received a report of a person conducting a raffle for United Way in the 1200 block of East Tipton Street.

After checking with the United Way and determining the organization was not raising money through any raffles, the man was told to stop selling the raffle tickets, Hayes said.

Police took his sign and the raffle tickets.

“We confiscated a very small amount of money and returned it to the people,” Hayes said.

The man was not arrested, and police have no evidence he had done anything similar in the past.

Tonja Couch, executive director of Jackson County United Way, said the organization generally does not conduct raffles, although some of its agencies do.

She said that anyone collecting funds for United Way would have a pledge card, would be wearing United Way apparel or would be a United Way ambassador.

“They would be able to talk about our mission,” Couch said.

She said if anyone has questions or concerns about someone soliciting money for United Way, they should contact the local office at 812-522-5450.

They also may contact Seymour Police Department at 812-522-1234, Hayes said.

Cornwell posted information about the incident on the department’s Facebook page in an effort to find out if anyone else had run across such a scheme, Hayes said.

Who to call

If you have questions or concerns about a Jackson County United Way fundraiser call the organization at 812-522-5450 or Seymour Police Department at 812-522-1234.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.