April 23, 2014

Scam warning for donations to victims of Argyle fire

Wisconsin’s attorney general is warning people to watch out for scammers who claim they are raising money to help the survivors of a deadly house fire in Argyle earlier this month. An aunt of Sharon Wand, who was critically injured in the blaze, says the family’s benefit fund is not collecting money door-to-door, over the Internet, or by other direct means.

Three of Sharon’s sons were killed in the fire, and her two-year-old daughter Jessica escaped the flames. Sharon’s aunt, Leesa Bobak, says the family is grateful for those who have shown their support and the “Wand Children Benefit Fund” is currently taking donations only at Talmer Bank-and-Trust in Monroe. Bobak said the fund briefly used canisters, but they were discontinued to avoid confusion.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says donating benefit funds at a bank can “help ensure that the funds will be used for their proper purpose.” Van Hollen said it’s common for people to exploit the generosity of well-meaning individuals who want to help and donors should make sure they know where their money is going.

Sharon Wand’s husband Armin Wand III and Armin’s brother Jeremy Wand are both criminally charged in the fire and the deaths of the three boys.