AUSTIN, Texas -- You've heard the sound. You've seen the kettle. Would you know how to spot a fake?
"As soon as I drove off I knew something's not right about this. I got home I called Salvation Army and they said, yeah, you've been scammed," Pam Glass said.
Glass dropped $10 into a bucket at the corner of Metric and Parmer in Austin. She said the man holding the bucket looked legitimate at first but she quickly realized something was wrong.
"Hate to say it but it's a pretty good scheme because people like to give to the Salvation Army when the kettles are out. It's one of our brands," said Randy Allen, a spokesperson for the Salvation Army.
Allen said legitimate bell ringers will always have proper identification and will be outside stores such as Hobby Lobby, malls, Walgreens and Walmart.
"Crime is one thing. It's another thing taking away from children's programs. Camps, computer lessons. To me that goes over the line," Allen said.
Austin police say they may have a suspect but have not made an arrest.
"I wanted to give to the Salvation Army. They do a lot of good in the neighborhood. Hopefully he's not gonna be doing this kind of thing any longer," Glass said.
Allen said he hopes situations like these don't stop people from giving generous donations.