CHARLESTON, S.C. —The Salvation Army thought it had received a grand gift ahead of Christmas — a $25,000 check. But the donation turned out to be an expensive hoax that may force the charity to cut back on winter assistance for the needy.
Investigators said Wednesday that more than a dozen Charleston-area charities received fake checks before Christmas purporting to be gifts from a genuine local company.
None of the other charities cashed theirs, but the Salvation Army deposited its check. It went ahead and spent some of the money on food and toys for about 100 families, counting on the check to clear.
The bank called two days before Christmas to say the check had bounced, and the agency was left with less money than planned to help the needy this cold January.