The Senate Aging Committee’s toll-free Fraud Hotline has received several reports that individuals across Maine are receiving telephone calls from con artists seeking donations in support of the “Policeman’s Fund,” the “Maine Police Alliance,” or similarly named groups that claim to support public safety departments.

The callers are seeking charitable donations be paid through wire transfer, gift card, or other untraceable methods. There have been reports of calls received by Waldo County residents.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, the chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, is warning Mainers to use caution as scam artists often attempt to steal money by posing as fundraisers for public safety organizations.

“Charity scams take advantage of our best intentions,” Collins said in a press release. “Supporting our brave men and women in law enforcement is something I strongly encourage, but I also urge people to show caution when making donations to charitable entities and to vet the organizations to which they donate their hard-earned money.”

Before making any donation, the Federal Trade Commission suggests asking the caller for identification, asking how the contribution will be used, or calling the organization or your local police or fire department to verify the fundraiser’s claim.

If you receive one of these calls and suspect fraud or have questions about the veracity of a charity, hang up the phone and call your local police department or contact the Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.