Fire departments warn residents of potential scam - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Fire departments warn residents of potential scam

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Fire departments warn residents of potential scam (WFSB) Fire departments warn residents of potential scam (WFSB)

A number of fire departments in the state said someone is calling homes and trying to get money by saying they’re representing firefighters and EMTs.

West Haven Deputy Fire Chief Scott Schwartz actually got one of these calls himself, and when he started asking questions, the person on the other line quickly hung up.

"I tried to ask him a couple of questions and they abruptly hung up on me, so being a deputy fire chief, a little concerned about other people being scammed,” Schwartz said.

He said the caller claimed they were collecting money for the Association of Firefighters and Paramedics.

"We do hear about it often. It’s sad to see people are trying to scam people out of money, when firefighters, police and EMS, try to do the best for charities around the state,” Schwartz said.

The Association of Firefighters and Paramedics is based in California, but the phone calls came from a 203 area code, here in Connecticut.

As a result, a number of departments, including New Haven, East Haven, Branford, and Clinton have posted warnings on their Facebook pages, asking residents to spread the word.

The West Haven union president wrote "I want to make it clear to everyone. The West Haven Professional Firefighters Local 1198 have no affiliation with this organization and we currently are unaware as to their existence or location. They are in no way connected to the local Unions."

Schwartz said a phone call to the fire department or police can confirm if one of the organizations is out collecting donations.

As for the potential scam, Schwartz adds that it ends up hurting valid charities, making people leery of donating.

“Make sure it’s reputable. We don't want to hurt the charities, but we want to make sure everyone is not being scammed around the state,” Schwartz said.

If you get a call, contact your local police or fire department.

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