The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

May 25, 2013

Veterans’ new enemy: Charlatans

Trickers charge for free services

SUNBURY — This Memorial Day, as your thoughts turn toward veterans, be on the alert for scammers doing the same thing, only with bad intentions.

The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is reminding veterans, active military personnel and their dependents that they should never pay for help to apply for veterans benefits.

“We’ve seen advertisements from businesses that offer veterans assistance in applying for benefits for free, and then end up charging a fee for financial planning services,” said Brig. Gen. Mike Gould, the state’s deputy adjutant general for veterans’ affairs. “We need to get the word out that veterans should never pay for these services. Free assistance is readily available from any accredited veterans service officer at the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the County Director of Veterans Affairs, or through a chartered veterans service organization such as the American Legion, VFW, DAV, or AMVETS to name a few.”

County directors of Veterans Affairs are accredited officers who provide veterans and their dependents assistance to identify and help determine eligibility for a wide range of veterans benefits; assist in the preparation of applications for county, state and federal veterans benefits and programs such as: burial allowances; grave markers and headstone; disabled veterans real estate tax exemptions; veterans emergency assistance; education gratuity program; federal health care benefits, service-connected disability and non-service connected disability pensions, and survivor benefits.

To locate a county director of Veterans Affairs or for more information, visit the state DMVA online at dmva.state.pa.us and click on Veterans Affairs.

Also be aware that while many legitimate charities are soliciting donations to support the nation’s military veterans as well as the families of active-duty personnel, not all “charities” are legitimate. Some are sham operators whose only purpose is to make money for themselves.

Others use paid fundraisers whose fees eat up most of a donation. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are several ways to make sure your donations go to a legitimate charity, rather than a scam artist:

Recognize that the words “veterans” or “military families” in an organization’s name doesn’t necessarily mean they will benefit from the money you are donating. To check an organization, contact militaryonesource.mil.

Look for an organization’s track record. Scam artists follow the headlines and charities that spring up literally overnight in connection with military conflicts and related news stories may disappear just as quickly.

In addition to current solicitations seeking to help veterans, be suspicious of ones claiming donations will go toward helping tornado survivors in Oklahoma.

o

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn M. Cannon is encouraging people who want to help Oklahoma tornado survivors to go through established organizations.

“We all know that Pennsylvanians have a long history of helping those in need, and in a situation like this, making a monetary donation or providing supplies that are known are needed to a trusted charity, is likely the best way to do that,” he said.

For information on offering support, as well as a list of Oklahoma community and service organizations seeking assistance, go to www.ok.gov and click the “How to Help Tornado Victims’’ link. Also visit GuideStar (guidestar.org).

Making a donation directly to a legitimate charity ensures contributions are used only for goods and services needed by disaster survivors. Charity groups coordinate their efforts to make sure donations are used for the things the survivors need, at the right time and in the right quantity.

o

Watsontown police are investigating a scam that occurred in the borough on Thursday. Police detained two white males, age 18 and 19, who were going door to door in Watsontown asking for money donations for the Christ Wesleyan Church of Milton for mission trips.  

The investigation revealed that the church was not having a drive for donations at this time nor were these two males associated with this type of activity with the church.

Money and a check were recovered and criminal charges are pending. If anyone donated money or had contact with these men, they are asked to call the police at (570) 742-8771 or (570) 538-2773.

 

1
Text Only
News
  • $23 million sweep under way

    After years of finger-pointing and blame, Northumberland County officials have launched an initiative to try to collect $22.8 million in unpaid fines and restitution from what might be 14,000 cases.

    July 24, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mazzeo a finalist for Middletown post

    Former Sunbury police chief Steve Mazzeo is one of three finalists for the same position in a borough about 65 miles away.

    July 24, 2014

  • rundown25zope.jpg Blighted block going bye-bye in Atlas

    Nearly an entire township block in Atlas will be torn down in Mount Carmel Township, utilizing funds from Northumberland County and its Housing Authority in an effort to fight blight. Half of this block is proposed to be developed as low-income senior living units.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1WEATHER.jpg Deadly storm strikes Virginia campground

    A fierce storm packing powerful winds and rain toppled trees and flipped campers Thursday at a Virginia campground this morning, killing at least two people and sending at least 20 more to hospitals, officials said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Official: Air Algerie flight ’probably crashed’

    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria’s capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali and “probably crashed,” according to the plane’s owner and government officials in France and Burkina Faso.

    July 24, 2014

  • 1gaza25.jpg Israeli fire hits UN facility in Gaza, killing 15

    Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1execution.jpg How Arizona, Ohio, Oklahoma, executions went awry

    Since the start of the year, executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona have gone awry, with inmates gasping for breath as lethal drugs coursed through their bodies.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's Editorial: One more job appears at risk

    July 24, 2014

  • Rabbi Conflict in Israel grounds Sunbury rabbi

    TEL AVIV, Israel — While the Israelis and Hamas traded rocket and missile strikes for a 16th day, Rabbi Nina Mandel is struggling to find her way back to Sunbury after the FAA on Wednesday announced that it would extend its ban on travel at Ben-Gurion International Airport for another 24 hours.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.