Non-profits being scammed in the valley

Medford, Ore., — Scams are on the rise, and crooks are finding more and more creative ways to take your hard earned cash.

Even a Medford non-profit, who specializes in taking care of kids in the welfare system, was targeted.

Casa is a national non-profit that recruits and trains volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children, who are under the care of child welfare.

But last week the Medford chapter was targeted by scammers, and thankfully knew what to look for.

“It was a big let down here for a lot of the staff, a big let down.” said Executive Director, Jennifer Mylenek.

Last week Medford’s Casa office received an email from a London man, Ken McFarlane, who said he wanted to donate over $40,000┬ádollars to the non-profit.

“It was pretty astounding, that amount of money makes a big difference in our program, and it’s desperately needed.” said Mylenek.

Though Executive Director Jennifer Mylenek admits she was initially skeptical, that quickly changed.

“We got an overnight envelope through priority mail, through the U.S. Post Office with a $44,000 dollar cashiers check in it.”

Check in hand, Mylenek started researching, and quickly found the donor was a real person, but the money was not.

“It was in honor of Sarah McFarlane, so my development director googled her to see who we were honoring, and the scam came up.”

Another non-profit in Virginia had the same thing happen to them.

Even from the same London donor, who then asked for $10,000 back, after saying he accidentally sent too much.

Mylenek reached out to both Medford Police and her bank, but she says they told her it actually isn’t a crime until the check is cashed.

“It’s really frustrating when you can’t point them in the direction of this person.”

Now she’s just hoping to spread the word, as police say repeatedly, if it’s sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Mylenek says they will reach out to the department of justice to see if anything can be done.

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