CONCORD, NH – The NH Attorney General’s office is warning consumers of out-of-state or third-party solicitors claiming to be selling advertisements or soliciting donations on behalf of local schools or sports teams.
Reports over the last two years have come in targeting six school districts. As a result, New Hampshire businesses have been conned out of hundreds of dollars, and even up to $1,000.
Generally, these reports involve a third-party solicitation company that contacts a business through email or by phone and claims to be working on behalf of a local school sports team to raise money for the coming season. The third-party company will then ask the local business to purchase advertising on promotional items, such as banners or posters with the promise that these items will be distributed in the local school or displayed at school events and sports games.
However, in these cases, the school district has not authorized the company to solicit in its name and there is no legitimate connection between the third-party company and the school. The solicitation company simply keeps any money sent by the business and no products or advertisements are provided. Many local businesses and school districts across the state have been the target of similar scams in recent years.
Businesses and individuals who receive fundraiser solicitations from third-party companies should contact the school to verify that the solicitation has been approved by the school. These businesses and individuals should also verify that any funds raised through the solicitation will directly benefit the school before making any payments to third-party fundraising solicitors.
Businesses and individuals that receive suspicious fundraising solicitations should contact their local school district and the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-468-4454.