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State Patrol not soliciting for AMBER Alert donations

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Patrol has received reports from a number of residents who received calls soliciting donations to support “AMBER Alerts.”

In part of the solicitation, the callers report the money being raised goes to support the AMBER Alert program, including that 30 percent of the funds are for overhead costs associated with the program. At least one solicitation indicated the caller was calling on behalf of State Patrol.

This information is inaccurate. State Patrol does not rely on public donations for the administration of the AMBER Alert system; these calls appear to be a scam.

State Patrol oversees the AMBER Alert system in Washington state. Most local agencies across the state have their own approved plans, which are implemented when a child is abducted or goes missing under suspicious circumstances. State Patrol and local agencies are not soliciting funds to support the AMBER Alert system in Washington state, State Patrol reports.

The origin of these calls is unknown and State Patrol lacks sufficient information to begin an investigation.State Patrol has confirmed the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and amberalert.com are not doing any fundraising or telephone solicitations.

Before donating to a charity, it’s important to research the charity before you make a contribution, State Patrol reports. The Secretary of State’s website (www.sos.wa.gov/charities/consumer_faq.aspx) provides resources to help the public identify legitimate charities. The bottom line: ask questions before you make a contribution.

Information on Washington State AMBER Alert Plan can be found at www.wsp.wa.gov/crime/amber.htm.

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