Long Island

Beware of Fake Donation Bins During Holidays, Long Island Officials Say

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It’s not unusual to see donation bins around the holidays, but some bins that have been popping up around Long Island don't really inspire the spirit of giving.

Officials in the town of Oyster Bay on Monday warned residents that some donation bins don't belong to a legitimate organization and urged people to make sure that they're not giving away their clothes or toys to scammers. The donations were being collected to be sold for profit, said Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino.

"They're illegal. They're shameful and they're wrong. No organization, no individual should be making profits illegally on the generosity of our residents," Saladino told reporters at a news conference.

The fake and poorly painted bins have been placed around the area for the past few years, according to Saladino. The contact number on the bins don't appear to work and the donations are unlikely to go to anyone in need.

Anthony Vicentine says he has gotten rid of two boxes that showed up on his strip mall but a third one has already replaced them, and he says he's fed up.

"They just keep putting them back. There's no sense to it. I gotta pay to have it taken away. I gotta break it up. I gotta put it in the garbage, then they bring another one back," he said.

Vicentine said nothing was ever inside the bin each time he got rid of them, but each time he breaks the padlock on the bin, it was quickly replaced overnight.

"We've asked the town for help. We've talked to code enforcement. We've called the police department and police department says there's nothing we can do unless we see illegal activity. You never see anybody," said Vicentine.

Nassau County police said the department was not made aware, therefore it was not investigating.

Officials say new laws will require bins to be permitted to ensure the legitimacy of the charity that is collecting items.

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