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VA hospital says storefront solicitor scammed donors

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Someone not associated with a veterans organization has been soliciting donations in the center’s name for the past few months in Johnson County.

Employees at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center have received 12 calls in recent months from angry residents who had given money to the person and but had not received a donation receipt or a raffle prize as they were promised, medical center executive assistant Julie Webb said.

The residents said the person soliciting donations in the center’s name was standing in front of stores asking for money and selling raffle tickets, Webb said.

How to donate

By mail or in person: 1481 W. 10th St., Indianapolis, 46202

Online: www.indianapolis.va.gov/giving

For questions: Call 988-2734

The center always gives people a receipt when they donate, and residents who had given the person money called the center when they didn’t get one, Webb said.

“We want people to know the VA does not use private companies and we don’t solicit like that,” Webb said.

The medical center is conducting an investigation to find the person who is asking for donations, and officials think they know who the person is, Webb said.

Residents who want to donate to Veterans Affairs should be cautious about who they give the money to. They should not give money to anyone soliciting donations, because the center doesn’t do that, and should call the center if they have any questions, Webb said.

Money that is donated to the center goes toward programs to help veterans who are homeless or need medical care, Webb said.

“Obviously, with people’s desire to support our troops, it’s a very easy sell, if you will, to say ‘I’m helping the veterans’. Veterans are near and dear to people’s hearts right now, so people can buy into that cause,” Webb said.

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