DAIS warns residents of scammers outside grocery stores

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Madison residents have reported people claiming to be clients of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) have approached them outside of grocery stores asking for money.

The scammers claim they need the money to access services offered by DAIS. The reports came from the Madison Police Department and the DAIS organization on Friday afternoon.

“DAIS services are free and confidential,” Shannon Barry, DAIS executive director said.

The reports include people being approached by individuals and by pairs of people. Some have claimed to be clients of DAIS and told shoppers that DAIS is encouraging them to ask for money to pay for shelter or other personal needs.

DAIS has not encouraged, nor does it endorse, clients soliciting people in this manner, according to a statement from the organization.

The organization is aware of people being approached outside of Willy Street Co-Op, Festival Foods and Woodman’s. DAIS has alerted management of those stores, according to the statement.

The Madison Police Department has encouraged people via Twitter to “be wary of people claiming to be abuse victims asking for money.”

In at least one case, it is believed that the individual stole debit card access information, according to DAIS.

“It is disheartening to learn that people are taking advantage of compassionate individuals and creating false, bad impressions of those affected by domestic violence," Barry said.