Bristol police uncover fundraising scam
VERMONT — Bristol police last week identified potentially fraudulent business solicitations that have prompted the Vermont Attorney General’s Office to warn businesses around the state.
The AG’s office and the Bristol Police Department are warning Vermont businesses about an out-of-state company operating a scam that solicits local businesses to donate money to support their area school.
The scam company hires a salesperson to ask local businesses to pay for an advertisement that will be placed on an educational folder, typically on a subject like drug prevention, that it says will be provided to students free of charge. This is a scheme that allows the out-of-state company to collect money from local businesses far in excess of the cost of the “folders” that it may actually deliver to the school. Businesses are advised not to contribute to this type of promotional scheme.
Last week, Bristol police discovered this scam business was operating in Bristol using the names “American Youth Group, Inc.” and “National Campus Professionals.” Through its investigation, Bristol police learned that the company was planning to contact businesses in other Vermont towns in the coming weeks, including Fair Haven, South Burlington and Colchester.
This same scam has operated in Vermont before; other business names that have been used are “PNM” (Production Network Media), “PMC” (Production Media Company) and “Student Relations Inc.”
If your business has been a target, make a complaint to your local police department and to the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program. You may use the on-line complaint form on the website www.uvm.edu/consumer or send a written complaint to: Consumer Assistance Program, 146 University Place, 103 Morrill Hall, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405.