By Audrey Spencer
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - Member organizations of the Chamber of Commerce should be on the lookout for phone calls from a Fort Worth area code soliciting advertising on golf course score cards.
"Please be aware of this scam," Marty Smith, chamber president, said in an email Thursday. "They are informing Copperas Cove Chamber members that the chamber is endorsing this, and they also are saying the city of Copperas Cove has contracted with them."
Smith said the fraudulent calls started Tuesday. The chamber became aware of the scam after a chamber member from Western Insurance called to verify the legitimacy of a call for advertising.
"We called the number and asked who they contracted with, and they said the city of Copperas Cove. We said, 'No, you didn't,' and they hung up," said Smith. "If anyone calls and says the chamber endorses something, people need to call the chamber and check."
As of Thursday afternoon, the chamber became aware the scammer was calling from a different number, a residence in Arlington, when they got a call from another member organization.
"What was so disturbing to us was that they were using the chamber and Marty's name," said Betty Price, vice president of the chamber.
So far, Smith said she isn't aware of any organization or business that has given the scammer any money.
She said she suspects that the person or persons accessed a list of chamber members on its website and was calling each of them. The golf course ordered its cards last spring.
At this time, the chamber is not pursuing charges against the person or people responsible for the calls.
"We're waiting on more information before we decide whether to take action," said Price. "We just have a couple more questions we want answered."
Smith said when the chamber endorses a company, such as when it starts work on its directory, she would send an email to members informing them of who will be coming around.