Local and state official say to be on look out for scam artists - WNEM TV 5

Local and state official say to be on look out for scam artists

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Belinda Rainey is aware of the right steps to take when making a donation.

"If you wanted to donate to a legitimate charity, I would probably go to the website and call directly and donate that way," Rainey said.

But with so many acts of goodwill taking place in the Vehicle City in the wake of the Flint water crisis, local and state officials want you to be on the lookout for con artists.

"I do want to alert the community that this is a time when people are in dire need, scammers come out and danger is high. So if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.

The United Way of Genesee County is one of the organizations that has been targeted by scammers.

Jamie Gaskins is the CEO. He said is thankful he was able to get word out on the internet that the scammers were on the prowl.

"Folks that saw this on social media right away and we got all kinds of phone calls,” Leyton said.  “And certainly the prosecutor needs to do their job and really ensure that the residence of aren't faced with these kind of fraudulent activities."

While the efforts of majority of the water giveaways come from people with a spirit of caring and sharing, the mere fact that someone would try to take advantage of others during these critical times is disturbing to former Flint mayor Woodrow Stanley.

“If there is a special suite in hell, that would be a place where that person would be a good candidate," Stanley said.

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