WOBURN (CBS) – Woburn Police say people claiming to raise money for charity are actually running a scam.
“It’s tragic at this time to take advantage of people’s emotion,” said Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo.
Police are working to shut down the scam they say is posing as a fundraiser for “The Volunteer Fireman Online.”
“We’ve determined this is a very widespread scheme using the volunteer fireman association, which I need to stress again is a solid charity,” said Chief Ferullo.
Chief Ferullo says the suspect is targeting grocery stores and auto body shops in the area and in southern New Hampshire.
The chief says the suspect calls businesses then has runners pick up between ten to twelve checks a day and is using paperwork and receipts that look legitimate.
“He has a past record of employment with companies that did this legitimately for many different charities,” said Chief Ferullo.
A Woburn Police Department Summons Report identifies the suspect as 25-year-old Zachary Noonan of Lowell. He’s been charged with larceny under $250 by false pretense.
No one answered at Noonan’s home when we stopped by to get his side of the story. His arraignment for the misdemeanor is pending.
Meanwhile, police say they’re still building their case on this scheme that they believe has been going on for sometime.
“If people are still being solicited we would be interested in hearing from them,” said Chief Ferullo.