Bothell police: Fake charity scammed people outside grocery stores

Bothell police are investigating an alleged bogus charity setup outside grocery stores in the city and in Seattle.

Earlier this month, police were told about the allegedly bogus charity collecting money. When police contacted them, officers said they found fraudulent or expired paperwork for their charity.

Police said the fraudsters were using the name Helping Hands, which also is the name of an actual charity that police work with to support domestic violence victims, among others.

Police said the real Helping Hands charity is not involved in fraudulent activities.

One of the people involved in the fraud was arrested and is being held for unrelated warrants in King County. Charges have not been filed in the charity case, and police believe others are involved. That theft through fraud investigation is ongoing.

Police said not all the victims targeted outside grocery stores can be identified because some gave cash. Police said they’ve been contacting people who wrote checks to the bogus organization.

Reporter Joanna Small is talking with police and putting together a full story for KIRO 7 News live at 5 p.m. Watch with us live on TV or on the KIRO 7 News app.

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