Consumer Alert: Warns Against Panhandling Charity Schemes

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Con-artists prey on peoples’ good intentions for personal financial gain, a leading online public records and people search engine, urges charitable consumers to be discerning when donating or handing out money to panhandlers. New scams designed to pull on peoples’ heartstrings, trick consumers into handing over their hard-earned cash to scammers under the guise of bogus causes.

According to a recent report from, four Fontana, CA women were arrested for instigating a panhandling scheme to raise money for an infant’s funeral, and likely conned victims out of $700 to $1,400 a day. Police believe that this bogus fundraising scheme has been active anywhere from six months to a year, and includes such locations as San Bernardino County, various Southern California locations and Arizona, moving place to place to avoid being recognized and perpetrate the scam.

These types of scams take many forms. The perpetrators come up with sham causes and charities that can include memorials, terminal diseases, funerals, and more. Instead of the solicited donations going to the causes being advertised, charitable consumers are padding the pockets of fraudsters. encourages people to be careful when donating to charitable causes and to follow the following guidelines before shelling out cash.

  •     Before making a donation, research the charity or cause carefully to ensure it is legitimate. Check the Better Business Bureau ( for the organization’s rating. If there are numerous complaints, steer clear.
  •     Request documentation or the URL of the official charity website. Legitimate organizations or causes will have information they can provide to potential donors.
  •     Don’t fall for high-pressure tactics. Take the time to research the organization or cause before donating.
  •     If possible, do not pay with cash, request to write a check out to the organization or use a credit card, and always request a receipt. Never pay with money order or a cashiers’ check.
  •     After obtaining personal or business information about the organization, use to find out more based on the information provided. allows consumers to look up individuals and businesses using their names or phone numbers, and if something seems suspicious consumers can obtain comprehensive background checks that include criminal records, business information, and civil judgments and more.

About ZabaSearch is a public records and people search engine that provides access to information based on a 10-digit number or name. ZabaSearch does not gather or generate information. ZabaSearch quickly accesses public information and displays what is available in the public domain. ZabaSearch simply serves as a search engine in locating available public records and does not create the records found. Information typically makes it to the public domain via a wide variety of sources, including but not limited to: phone listings, court records, real property records, subscriptions etc. Sources vary state-by-state and region-by-region.


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