An emerging scam in Yuma is baiting unsuspecting business owners to divulge credit card numbers to purchase what they think will be advertising on a public safety memo board, police said.
Scammers tell the business owners the local fire department will distribute the memo board because it will contain important fire prevention and awareness tips.
Before scammers approach businesses, they contact the local fire department by calling one of the department's fire administration personnel, police said.
They offer a donation in order to confirm that the person they are speaking to does in fact represent the department. Once that's confirmed, the scam begins and they can now contact local business owners and use the fire administrator's name as a reference, officers said.
In actuality, the memo board is never created but the credit card is charged. The local business contacts the company several times and is promised the memo board will be done but never sees the product, police said.
On rare occasions, the scammer will create a cheap memo board and send it to the local business but it rarely is the product that was promised, police said.
There are many different variations of this scam that use public safety agencies as a reference. Those may include fundraising scams, relief efforts, public safety support and entertainment events to promote public safety.
The companies may use these and other names:
Businesses who believe they've been victimized should report it online at www.ic3.gov http://www.ic3.gov/ providing as much information as possible.
Community members can also file a police report with the Yuma Police Department at 928-783-4421.
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