GA investigating reports of suspicious charity donations

ATLANTA (WDEF) – Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is opening an investigation into reports of a fake check scam that is targeting Georgia charities.

The investigation arose after an individual claiming to be associated with an architecture firm in London, England offered to donate $30,000 to a metro Atlanta charity last week via e-mail.

After receiving the suspicious email, the charity discovered that the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance issued an alert on February 1, 2016, after receiving complaints that a “Ken McFarlane” or a “Kenneth McFarlane” had made similar offers to 18 charitable groups in the Richmond, Virginia area.

“This organization did the right thing by checking into an unknown donor offering to make a large, unsolicited donation,” said Kemp. “I want all charitable organizations to be on the alert since there is a chance other groups in our state may receive or have already received similar offers.”

According to the BBB, three charitable groups deposited $39,850 in fraudulent checks from “McFarlane.” The individual would then contact the charities and ask for some of the money back due to a mistake being made. The charities did not return any of the money, but were charged bank fees for depositing the fraudulent checks.

Anyone wishing to file complaint on any possible scam or any other questionable charity can fill out an online complaint form at or call the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office at 404-656-2881 from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday.

Categories: Regional News

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