Iowa’s Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against a telemarketing company he says misrepresented itself in raising funds for firefighters. Miller says the Xentel company was hired by a few fire departments, but says they made it seem like they were working for all firefighters. He says they used words and sent messages that they were firefighters, when they are actually professional fundraisers. He says they also told people the money was going to local firefighters, while it was not. Miller says the company kept most of the money it raised. He says the disclosure reports by the company reveal Xentel raised 591-thousand dollars and kept 447-thousand dollars — or about 76-percent of the money. One of the calls from the company ironically was to the Clive Fire Department in suburban Des Moines. Fire Chief Rick Roe took the call. He says he asked if the money would benefit the Clive department, and Roe says after several evasive responses, the caller said the money would go to Clive. Roe says he then asked the telemarketer to talk to his supervisor, and Roe says he refused and eventually hung up. Roe says most fire departments raise funds through local pancake breakfasts and other things. Roe says he wouldn’t have had any problem with the call had the caller identified where the money was going. He says you’re best off to avoid calls from unknown solicitors. He says if you want to give a donation, hand deliver the donation to a firefighter, or take it to a local fire station. Attorney General Miller says you should ask lots of questions before giving money to any telemarketer. He says you should find out if it is a professional fundraiser and what percentage of money goes to the fundraiser and what percentage to the charity. Miller says it’s also good to get that information in writing. Miller says the state is asking Xentel to return the money raised in the calls where they misrepresented what they were doing, and he says they’re seeking civil penalties.
You are here: / / A-G files lawsuit against telemarketer in firefighter case