The Charleston Fire and Police Departments are warning residents of a telephone scam seeking donations to the organizations.
A caller recently notified the Charleston Fire Department her elderly mother had received a call from someone claiming to be soliciting donations for the department, according to CFD spokesman Ryan Kunitzer. The woman told fire officials the caller asked her mother for her debit card information.
"The Charleston Fire and Police Departments do not solicit funds over the phone or in person, and will never request your credit or debit card information," Kunitzer said in a release.
Fire officials warn residents to never give personal information over the phone without first confirming with the organization that a campaign is underway.
They also offered these recommendations:
- Always ask solicitors to identify themselves and provide additional information about the group or people they are representing.
- Ask solicitors to provide detailed written information explaining how your money will be used.
- Contact your local fire or police department to verify whether the solicitors who called or approached you are really raising money for their organization.
- Be cautious of intimidation tactics. Some solicitors will suggest you will receive special treatment from law enforcement if you donate. Don’t feel intimidated about declining to give.
Anyone who believes they are receiving a bogus call should try to obtain as much information as possible from the caller then report the call to the Charleston Police Department at (843) 720-2497 or your local police department.