Holliston police are warning the public about an apparent email scam this week that uses the Martin Richard Foundation name and logo in an attempt to solicit money and personal information.
Officials said a local resident approached police Tuesday about a suspicious email she recently received. The message contained the nonprofit organization’s name and symbol, with an option to donate money, police said in a statement.
“We have spoken to members of the Martin Richard Foundation and have confirmed that they do not solicit donations in this manner and that their main fundraising is done through their official TeamMR8 runners and supporters,” police said in a Facebook post.
The advisory comes less than a week before the six-year anniversary of when two homemade bombs detonated near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing 8-year-old Martin Richard, of Dorchester, Lingzi Lu, and Krystle Campbell, and injuring at least 264 others.
Started in 2014, the foundation in Martin’s honor works to engage young people in their communities and allow them to learn and grow through volunteerism. The group seeks to advance the ideals of kindness, inclusion, sportsmanship, and peace, according to the organization’s mission statement.
On social media, Holliston police picked apart features of the email that signaled it was fraudulent.
Authorities said the email came with the subject line “Bank of America NY” and stated that it was “from the desk of Dr. Charles Holiday Jr.”
The message went on to request the receiver’s name, phone number, social security number, bank account number, license number, and other information in order for the money to be transferred, according to police, who advised that people should always research an organization before making any donation.
“NEVER give out any of this information. We can’t stress this enough,” officials wrote in another Facebook post. “Scammers just want to steal your money. They can become aggressive and rude too. If you’re ever unsure of a phone call, email or letter, come meet with one of our officers and we can help. Go with your gut, if it seems strange or fake, it more than likely is!”
Authorities encouraged the public to report potential scams to a local police department, but also to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 or online at ftc.gov/complaint.