A colleague at Cape Fear Literacy Council recently experienced an attempted scam and wanted to share the information with the nonprofit community in hopes that no one falls victim to a similar attempt.

We recently had a man by the name of Richard Chapman reach out via email stating he and his wife would like to make their first donation to us and would be sending a check via direct mail in the sum of $2,000. Throughout the following days a lot transpired, the key red flag bullet points are below including a news article highlighting the type of scam we believe was attempted with us.

  • News Article:
  • Unknown, un-verified donor
  • Out of state donor
  • Only communication is email with no other provided contact information
  • Discrepancies in information ($2,000 stated donation, but $4,500 check arrived.)
  • Check is from a company (Sporting Arms Inc) not Mr. Chapman and his wife as he stated
  • Address on check was different than that of the actual company
  • When receiving bank called to verify the check, the bank the check is drawn on confirmed that there were not enough funds to clear the check
  • The check was mailed from California from a different individual
  • The address of the company is a house owned by a guy named Herman Erwin and Lisa Boone.
  • Sporting Arms Inc. is owned by Herman Erwin and Lisa Boone – NOT Mr. Chapman  (see business filing)

The six grantees include:
• Cape Fear River Watch: $20,000 for its project, The Burnt Mill Creek Urban Green Space Restoration Plan
• North Carolina Wildlife Federation: $15,000 for restoring wildlife habitat in underserved communities
• Alliance for Cape Fear Trees: $8,400 for its project to improve tree survival success in disadvantaged communities
• Young Scientist Academy: $6,600 for the Youth Cause Initiative
• Historic Wilmington Foundation: $5,000 for Eagles Island Nature Park Project
• Plastic Ocean Project: $5,000 for Trees4Trash program and Carbon Capture Study