On Your Side: Fundraising Fraud

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

March 1, 2007

NEW ELLENTON, S.C.---Workers at a New Ellenton daycare say they got caught up in a scam that's cost them hundreds of dollars.

It involves the name of a well-known pizza chain.

Instead of delivering some much needed money, the scammers picked the pockets of some well-intentioned donors.

When workers at Katlyn's Christian Childcare Center heard the name Domino's Pizza associated with a fundraiser, they thought everything was legitimate.

They were wrong.

Katlyn's Christian Childcare Center is a place full of smiles. It's not a place that's full of too much money.

"We're a very small center, and we work really hard for everything we get," said center director Donna Sizemore.

When it comes to raising money, everyone pitches in.

That's why workers and parents were excited about a new fundraising idea they received in the mail.

A company called Sterling Fundraising Experts offered to let them sell buy-one-get-one-free Domino's Pizza cards good for an entire year.

"We thought it was a real good deal," Donna said.

The promise was the daycare could keep half of the money raised. The rest would pay for the cards.

It was a great deal that a lot of folks wanted to buy in on, and the money would go to get some outdoor equipment for the kids.

"Our parents worked really hard," Donna said.

But then reality kicked in.

"We got orders, turned in the money, never heard from them again."

It turns out Domino's has no association with Sterling and never has.

A Domino's spokesperson says this is not the first time the company has heard of this, and it is working with authorities who have a warrant out for the man they think is behind the fraud.

But warrant or no warrant, Katlyn's Childcare is out $150 that it has to pay back to the people who bought the nonexistent cards.

It may not seem like that much to you, but for this daycare, it's a lot.

An expensive way to learn a lesson these folks won't ever forget.

There is some good news out of this to report.

12 On Your Side contacted Domino's Pizza and they are not only helping the daycare repay the people who bought the fake coupon cards, but they are also making an additional donation of $350 to help out with some new outdoor equipment...a total of $500.

That brings the amount of money 12 On Your Side has helped recover to $200,960.

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