With the holidays right around the corner, I felt it was time we talked about how children can be the target of the real life Grinches. Unfortunately we have to keep our eyes on events for children. Two years ago David Lee Ellisor decided he would setup a fake children’s event with Santa Clause and even the boy wizard Harry Potter. He used fake letter head from the University of Miami and falsified sponsorship from local police and fire departments. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that the pseudo event raised $38,000 dollars that went directly int Mr. Ellisor’s pocket. On the day of the event Mr Elllisor withdrew the money, paid off his new Jaguar, and split town. He has now served 2 years of his 7 year sentence. Here is a short list of other examples of how children are targeted:
- Charity funds set up for real children with real disabilities, with no intentions of actually getting to the child.
- Luring parents into believing they could get their children into commercials and movies, only to require an upfront fee.
- Using children to ask for donations ( this is really bad because of what it teaches the children).
This being said, I still believe that the majority of all childrens charities and childrens advocate agencies are legitimate. Remember you can always do a search with the Better Business Burea or Charity.com.