Three men were seen asking for money in Lompoc on Saturday in what appears to be a scam.
The men approached cars on Central Ave and N H St wearing yellow emergency vest soliciting donations. They handed out fliers that claimed the donations were for a sick boy who needed a medical procedure. When a concerned resident questioned them they ran off only to return moments later not wearing the vest.
Drivers were seen stopping to give them money.
“I knew it was suspicious when I was reading the card. It explains about a fourteen old boy who needs a surgery. And they need $65,000 of donations so this young man can have a surgery,” said Lompoc resident Nikolai Nikolenko.
In March of this year someone posted a Youtube video scam alert of a man in San Jose wearing the same yellow vest, handing out the same flyer, only on that flyer they ask for $95,000. And the picture of the alleged sick boy and disease listed were different.
Lompoc residents are outraged and feel these men are trying to con the community to give them money.
“The generosity of this community is being taken advantage of,” said Nikolenko
“It’s sad, people should not capitalize off of anyone’s sickness,” said Lompoc resident Leo Lanier.
Facebook comments poured out on social media and many residents caught the alleged cons on tape and sent out photos to community pages to warn others.
“You just need to be careful because you don’t know what people are trying to do,” noted Lanier.
This event is a reminder that before donating your money make sure the charity is not a scam. Verify the organization is a legit business. If you are approached on the street by someone asking for money, ask to see their identification. If you have any doubts about who they are then don’t give a donation and refer them to local charitable organizations.