Despite our landline being on the National Do Not Call Registry, we often get telephone requests from various organizations that ask for donations. I was unaware that my husband had been donating to several of them until I had to do our taxes this past year.

Last month, he apparently made a pledge over the phone to the Association for Homeless and Disabled Veterans. Fortunately, he remembered that I had told him to ask any "charity" to send a request through the U.S. Postal Service, so that I could check them out.

We have caller ID, so I searched by the phone number online, 800-524-0592. I was sickened but not surprised that it was a rather convoluted telemarketing scam that has fooled many other people who wish to support the veterans.

A week passed and we received, on red, white and blue official-looking letterhead the following message:

Thank you very much for your generous pledge of support! Association for Homeless and Disabled Veterans is a special program of the Center for American Homeless Veterans, Inc. Enclosed you will find my letter detailing our mission and programs, as well as a supporter decal.

Please detach the coupon below and return it with your check in the envelope provided. This top portion will serve as your donation record or receipt. Have a great day!

Thank you again for your support!

Brian A. Hampton

It took a bit of internet wandering but none of what I read was encouraging about this so-called charity. The best site I found that thoroughly rates charities and is very clear, did not have the above organization even listed. The bottom line seems to be 26 per cent of your donation goes to a long list of other unrelated charities, most of which I'm guessing are not legitimate either. While I realize telemarketers may be people who need jobs, using the guise of helping homeless and disabled (or both) veterans is deplorable.

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