WARNING: School for deaf children falsely used to defraud people out of money

SAN ANTONIO - There's a warning about a scheme that preys on public sympathy for a deaf child. Police are investigating scammers going door to door soliciting donations for a hearing aid.

A local school for deaf children is being falsely associated.

"I've called the police and I've spoken to our SAFFE officers," said neighborhood activist Tinker Mass-Schultz. The Prospect Hill Neighborhood Watch has a warning about a man going door to door asking for donations.

"I spoke to him face to face and he told me the entire story," Mass-Schultz said. The man claimed he needs money to buy a hearing aid for his daughter.

His emotional story, is told in great detail listing several reputable places; including the Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children.

"I think that he's a smart man," said Mass-Schultz. "This guy has done his homework and done some research because he has just enough information to make it sound legitimate and he carries a folder with a picture of a little girl in it."

"Don't give anybody any money that comes knocking on your door," Alan Dimich said. Dimich's daughter really is a student at Sunshine Cottage.

He's disturbed to know someone is using the school's reputation to scam caring people out of money.

"The kids come here with their own equipment and if it needs to be repaired the school has equipment, loaner equipment, for the kids to wear," Dimich said.

Sunshine Cottage Execute Director Belinda Pustka said, "We do not solicit door-to-door."

School leaders are equally disappointed to be associated with the scam.

"I don't want this to lead to any mistrust on the part of the community just because they've always been very generous and very kind with us and with our students," Pustka said.

Mass-Schultz said, "He usually has a black jacket jeans sneakers."

So far he's been tracked to four west and south side neighborhoods.

Leaders in Prospect Hill are spreading the word to make sure the scam doesn't spread to neighborhoods across town.

"If enough people are calling and he keeps getting bothered and nobody is giving any money to him then he'll stop," Mass-Schultz said.

Officers say if you or your neighbors are approached report it to the non-emergency number (210) 335-6000.

Contact the school directly to donate to Sunshine Cottage.

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