Salvation Army warns of man posing as free cell phone provider - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Salvation Army warns of man posing as free cell phone provider

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(12/19/13) - The Salvation Army of Genesee County is concerned someone may have been preying on people, with the promise of a free cell phone, at its downtown Flint location Wednesday.

They thought he may have been trying to pass himself off as a representative for SafeLink, which is a government supported program providing a free cell phone and airtime for income-eligible customers.          

"This was just a young African American man with a briefcase full of cell phones and a tablet, taking people's ID, Bridge Card and pin numbers," said Major Kris Augenstein. "We just weren't comfortable with it."

Augenstein said he wouldn't given them his name or provide a number for a supervisor.

They asked him to leave.

"He went out of our building yelling at us, then he stood at the sidewalk yelling, telling people not to come in," she said.

He was able to access personal information from at least two, maybe three, people, according to the Salvation Army.

The people were at the downtown Flint location for the Army's annual Christmas Toy Shop. The gym is filled with toys and clothing so parents needing some help can "shop" for their children.

"We were letting the recipients come through at their appointed times. I thought that this gentleman was with one of the ladies who had come through," Augenstein said.

The Salvation Army is working on retrieving surveillance video of the man and wants other organizations to be aware.

"I would be on the lookout," Augenstein said.

SafeLink confirmed they did not have a representative at the Salvation Army in Flint, Wednesday, and they certainly wouldn't just show up unsolicited.

While Safelink reps do take personal information for verification purposes, they do not have cell phones with them. The cell phones are shipped after the company verifies they are income eligible.

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