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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:31 PM
Original message
Obama fund raising scam?
I just received the weirdest phone call. The guy claimed to be from Obama for America. He went through a long spiel about how there are only 47 days left until the election, how we need to elect Barack Obama, how much they appreciated my support in the past and could they count on my continued support? "Sure," I said. "What about $300?" he asked. "That's probably a little high for me right now," I said. "Well, how much are you willing to contribute," he asked. "I think I'll decide when I go to Obama's website to make the donation," I replied. "Oh, no! Don't do that!" the guy replied.

**red flag**

WTF? He's discouraging me from donating through the website? Again, wtf? I started probing this guy further. He told me he worked for an independent fund raiser hired by Obama called Donor Services Group. Since when does Obama need a fund raiser? Hasn't he been breaking all records with his internet fund raising? This guy tried to tell me that it was "faster" for them to fund raise by phone. I called bullshit on that one real fast. You mean it's faster to call millions of donors than it is to send out a broadcast email appeal? Uh-huh....

This guy claimed that by giving him my credit card, my donation would get to the Obama field workers faster than it would if I donated through the website. Uh-huh... Since when have we heard that Obama has had problems funding his field offices? This guy even acted surprised when I told him McCain doesn't even HAVE a ground game compared to Obama.

I kind of felt bad for the guy because he sounded sincere. He told me he had started working at this call job only a week ago, and that he was really just trying to help out the campaign. He was just basically reading a script given to him, so he very well may have thought he was really working for the campaign. He didn't even know about the phone banking system that can be accessed through Obama's website. I told him that if he truly is a supporter, he needs to go to Obama's website, find out what's going on in his area, and educate himself. I flat out told him I thought his fund-raising was a scam, and there was no way I was giving him my credit card number.

Any thoughts? Has anyone else gotten these phone calls? I'm planning to call my local Obama office tomorrow to check and see if this was legit.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sure sounds like a scam to me.
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d_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. uh...
F that guy. He'd probably have an easier time scamming McLame supporters.
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Fran Kubelik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
3. Obama for America?
I believe they identify themselves as Obama for Change.
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Blondiegrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Really? I'd have to look at my bank statements again, but I think the
donations I've made (all via Obama's web site) were attributed to Obama for America.
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Fran Kubelik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Oh - could be.
It's how I was told to identify myself when making calls from their office.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. Rule # 1: Don't geve your CC # on the phone unless you initiate the call.
Any legit fundraiser will get your pledge & follow up with a mailing.

This is as phony as as Bush's Texas drawl.
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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Absofuckinglutely
Anyone who ever asks for your credit card number over the phone in a solicitation call is participating in a FRAUD scheme.
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MrModerate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. I wouldn't call it a scam -- sounds like Fraud with a capital F! n/t
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curious one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. It seems some crooks want to cash in on Obama's popularity.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
7. Sounds like a clear scam.
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. Huge red flag. I would e-mail the campaign and provide the info.
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. Do you have caller ID?
Was there a number?

According to their website, Obama is not a DSG client:

http://www.donorservicesgroup.com/clients.html
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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. No, I don't have caller ID, but when I questioned his authenticity, the guy gave me
a Chicago phone number and someone's name he claimed was with the campaign. (As if they can't direct the calls to some number that is answered as if it were the campaign.) I'm going to give the name and number to the campaign office when I call them tomorrow.
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Google the person's name the guy gave you
Also, check out this site for that number he gave you:

http://whocalled.us

Then again, he could have given you some number he found on the Interwebs and fed you a sob story. Good for you for not taking the bait. I've spoken with actual Obama fundraisers many times and they never give me grief when I tell them I donate online only. They try to mail me a pledge card but they never, ever ask me for my cc# over the phone. Ever.

Absolutely call the Obama offices tomorrow. Good luck getting through. They're hella busy so don't be surprised if all you get is an answering machine.
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iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. It Could Be Legit
I mean, it is possible the Obama campaign hired an organization to help with fundraising. They probably get a cut of what they raise, but not what is brought in online (through the campaign website).

I googled Donor Services Group and it seems Greenpeace and American Cancer Society are clients.

As for faster - well, Obama may be trying to reach everyone he can, using every method possible. While John McSame may be limited in what he can spend because of public financing, the Republican National Party is kicking our butt when it comes to bringing in funds.
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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Hmmm... I didn't think of the cut issue, which might be why he wanted me
to donate over the phone instead of the website.

Still, I don't give ANYBODY my credit card number over the phone who calls me out of the blue. How the heck am I supposed to know who they are?
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Plus he probably gets a commission or some kind of bonus based on the number of donations he gets
on the phone. And if he gets none he probably gets minimum wage or less.
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whistler162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-08 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
17. I had something similar but I think it was legit.
they kept trying to reach me, I work evenings. When they finally reached me the background just about drowned the caller out. She wanted me to make a donation over the phone and when I said no I only make it via the website when I can she asked if she could send a donation card. I again told her no because I only donate via the website and please don't call again. I din't get the name or details.

ps - I made a donation a few days later.
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