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Bail Bonds Consumer Scam Alert: Fake Charity Scam

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bail Bond Consumer ScamConsumers beware.  The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department has issued a consumer alert warning people of a new scam going around the Palmdale mid-city area.  The scam involves people going door to door asking for donations for murdered children. 

The local bail bond community is keeping an eye out for these unsavory characters and will report them to authorities.  If you run into one of these individuals please contact the Palmdale Sheriff immediately at Palmdale Sheriff's Station 661-272-2400.  The original story is below. 


Charity Scam: Asking for donations to pay for funeral of murdered child, Palmdale
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Website
Palmdale Station is advising the community of an ongoing charity scam occurring in the mid-city area.The scam consists of a suspect approaching citizens either in business districts or by going door to door in neighborhoods and asking for donations to aid the suspect in paying for funeral arrangements for their recently murdered child.
On December 31st, Palmdale Deputies responded to a suspicious person call near the 600 Block of Knollview Ct., in which the caller stated the suspicious person was going door to door soliciting donations to cremate his son who had recently been murdered in the Lancaster area. When deputies arrived they detained Shawn Stokes who possessed a plastic bag full of small currency, a bible, and two photos of small children.
While speaking to Deputies, Suspect Stokes admitted to going to several apartments within a complex and telling the residents he was their neighbor and his son had recently been murdered in a drive by shooting in the Lancaster area.
 He further explained that due to hard times he did not have the money to cremate his son and was asking for help.
Stokes told deputies he was actually homeless and trying to “Hustle up” enough money to get a hotel room for the night. Stokes was arrested earlier this month for committing the same scam on innocent community members. Stokes was transported and booked on charges of “Theft by False Pretenses” at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
Deputies canvassed the neighborhood knocking on over 20 doors in an attempt to identify victims of this scam. One victim was identified and relayed to deputies that while they were doing everything they could to scrape by, they felt bad for Stokes and gave him what little cash they had at the time.
Palmdale Station wants to caution the public about donating to such schemes, as this particular scam is becoming more popular. Residents should research the charities in which they make donations to ensure their donations reach the intended recipients.

Palmdale Sheriff's Station
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
750 E Avenue Q
Palmdale, CA 93550

Original story: Charity Scam