Zoo issues warning about Fiona scam

AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is warning Fiona fans about a scam.

Officials said the "Fiona the Baby Hippo" page is not affiliated with the zoo.

"They are claiming they are donating 80% of their shirt sales to the Zoo but this is a total scam," reads the social media post. "We don't believe people that are buying the shirts are even getting them. Please do not support this imposter page."

"We've not seen any funding from them. I'm not even sure what shirts they're selling but nobody can give away 80 percent of proceeds they wouldn't be able to pay their bills," said zoo director Thane Maynard. "When we see it go up, we ask them to take it down and they will and it pops back up and I think with any charity, the best idea is to make sure to check with the charity itself."

Not only are proceeds not going to the zoo, but according to FOX19 NOW's Simply Money team, scammers could be using your credit card info for other things."

"You though you bought a t-shirt that going to support Fiona, all of a sudden they're going into Walmart buying all kinds of high end electronics on you," said Amy Wagner.

Both the zoo and Simply Money team says the best way to give is to go straight to the source.  If you do give money to an organization through another avenue, Wagner has a tip.

"If you do really want to give to that cause, always use your credit card you have so much more protection than with a debit card," said Wagner.

If you do want official Fiona merchandise, there are a number of options available here. The companies at the provided link are reputable and are donating back to the hippo's care.

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