Massive telemarketing scam deceives charity donors

 |  NCR Today

Bloomberg News Magazine has uncovered a massive charity scam involving a major telemarketing company, InfoCision Management Corp.

According to Bloomberg, InfoCision partners with major charities -– including the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society –- and solicits ordinary people to mail pre-printed fundraising letters to friends, families and neighbors.

The partnership is meant to aid charities in raising money, but the one-sided contracts (in InfoCision’s favor) often mean that most of the money doesn’t make it to the charity.

In examining a report InfoCision filed with North Carolina regulators, Bloomberg found only 22 percent of funds raised by the American Diabetes Association in a 2011 nationwide neighbor-to-neighbor program went to charity.

Of the $5.3 million raised by the American Cancer Society in a similar campaign -- involving thousands of volunteers -- during the 2010 fiscal year, "none of that money -- not one penny -- went to fund cancer research or help patients, according to the society’s filing with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the state of Maine," Bloomberg reported.

Web of Life.jpgExplore the rich biodiversity of Panama in a special eco-series from Global Sisters Report.

More from Bloomberg:

Major charities compound the deception by encouraging telephone solicitors to lie. InfoCision scripts approved by both the Diabetes Association and the Cancer Society for what the telemarketer calls neighbor-to-neighbor campaigns in 2010 instruct solicitors to say, when asked, that at least 70 percent of the money raised will be used for charitable purposes.

Yet in contracts with InfoCision in that very same year, the association and society said they expected that the telemarketing firm would keep more than 50 percent of all the funds it collected.

Altogether, more than 5 million Americans volunteered to raise money for these two groups -- and other charities that hired InfoCision -- from their neighbors since 2005 after being pitched by solicitors using charity-approved scripts, according to state regulatory filings.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

June 16-29, 2017