This holiday season, when you’re donating to a donation bin, you might want to look twice – it could be fake. Officials on Long Island have issued a warning after people are taking advantage of folks’ kindness this holiday season.
CBS reported that homemade donation bins have been popping up across Nassau County. The bins are illegal, and crews have been removing the fake bins for weeks.
CBS spoke to Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, who said that, “These makeshift, usually wooden boxes, usually with stenciled information on the front, not professionally constructed, and we’ve learned they are not associated with a not-for-profit.”
They claim to be clothing donations for charity, but people are collecting donations and selling them for profit.
Officials told outlets that it’s unknown at this time who is behind the fake bins.
Saladino added that, “If you want to give at holiday time — and that’s something we all should be doing — one should research and know who they are donating to ensure that their holiday cheer is going to the less fortunate.”
Residents of the area spoke with CBS about the scam.
Resident Michael Corley told them, “I think that’s very sad. I think at a time where many people are legitimately in need, I think it’s very sad to know that people would scam and take things away from people that really need.”
Another local, Bart Burlison, told CBS, “False advertising. And during this time of the year, people want to help the needy, and they’re screwing them.”
Officials say if you see one, contact the town’s office. If you are unsure if the box is real or not, the town suggests checking the organization’s website or calling the charity’s head-offices.