October 5, 2010

On the Go With Joe Hutter

joeSeniors And Law
Enforcement Together (SALT)

By Joe Hutter

Most of us have been on an interstate highway and seen a person begging for money or for food. On the signs things are written to encourage you to give them a donation. Seniors and law enforcement are concerned about phone calls you get or someone knocking on your door asking for money. The beggars on the side of the road could be carrying signs that are not true. They could be fraudulent. Some call the people panhandlers, but you and I know of not-for-profit organizations that do help the homeless and veterans.

If you and I do not give to these people, they will go to the Salvation Army, area homeless shelter or food pantry. Do they buy items like cell phones, cars, motel rooms, alcohol or drugs with the money we give them? All churches help the poor and needy. Give your money to the VFW or American Legion.

Recently a senior citizen told me about buying magazines over the phone and kept getting magazines he or his wife would not read. Have you received a check in the mail that you wanted to cash? Do not cash any check you were not expecting or give information about yourself over the telephone. If you get a phone call from someone who tells you they need money sent to them, DON”T send it!!

Every day we read or hear about a senior citizen who had money taken through illegal means or with false information. Call someone you trust before you give money or personal information to over the phone or at your door. The beggar on the side of the road could be a scam and if a person needs a meal, we have many churches that provide a meal everyday in the Quad Cities.

Remember, the police and sheriff departments are there to help you. Call them if you have questions or you think someone has fraudulently taken your money or are trying to get your money. Those of us who do help others want to help other people who are less fortunate than we are, but we do not want to help thieves. Just because someone looks poor, doesn’t mean they are poor.

If you don’t know who to give money to, give it to the United Way in your town as they know which agencies help children and people in need.

Take care.