Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Monday, Aug. 22, 2022 @ 10:51 a.m. / Community, Crime, Fire

CalFire Warns of Donation Scam, Urges Folks to Give to Their Local Volunteer Fire Department

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From a CalFire news release Monday:

Fortuna – CAL FIRE Humboldt – Del Norte Unit Headquarters in Fortuna has received several reports of possible phone scammers asking for donations for firefighters. CAL FIRE does not solicit for donations from the public. While CAL FIRE will not participate in this activity, there are legitimate labor organizations who do seek donations by telephoning households. The Humboldt – Del Norte Unit encourages anyone wishing to contribute to any organization claiming to support first responders to verify the legitimacy of the caller through other means.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers the following tips to avoid Government Impersonator Scams:

• Don’t wire money, send cash, or use gift cards or cryptocurrency to pay someone who says they’re with the government. Scammers ask you to pay these ways because it’s hard to track that money, and almost impossible to get it back. They’ll take your money and disappear.

• Don’t give your financial or other personal information to someone who calls, texts, or emails and says they’re with the government. If you think a call or message could be real, stop. Hang up the phone and call the government agency directly at a number you know is correct.

• Don’t trust your caller ID. Your caller ID might show the government agency’s real phone number or even say “Social Security Administration,” for example. But caller ID can be faked. It could be anyone calling from anywhere in the world.

• Don’t click on links in unexpected emails or text messages. Scammers send emails and text messages that look like they’re from a government agency, but are designed to steal your money and your personal information. Don’t click on any link, and don’t pass it on to others. Simply delete the message.

• Report telephone scams online to the Federal Trade Commission. You can also call 1-877-382-4357 (TTY: 1-866-653-4261). The FTC is the primary government agency that collects scam complaints.

Local Volunteer Fire Departments are another option for those wishing to contribute. Donations of money, time, or through joining their membership are great ways to show your support and give back to your communities!


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