Fire Chief Fred Mitchell and Police Chief Donald C. Cudmore are warning residents about a telephone scam involving an individual falsely claiming to be collecting donations on behalf of the Georgetown Fire Department.
Earlier today, a resident reported receiving a phone call from an unknown person who falsely claimed to be an employee of Georgetown Fire. The caller was seeking donations on behalf of the department.
Chief Mitchell would like residents to be aware that Georgetown Fire is not currently soliciting monetary donations and any phone calls or emails asking for donations are a scam.
“If you receive a phone call from a person soliciting donations for our department, hang up right away and notify the police,” said Chief Mitchell “We applaud this resident for being suspicious of the caller and for immediately informing us of the situation.”
Residents should NEVER give personal information, social security numbers or credit card numbers to people who call their homes or cell phones unless they are entirely certain who is on the other end.
“We would like to remind resident to remain vigilant of potential scams, and to take the necessary precautions to protect you and loved ones,” Chief Cudmore said. “If you receive any suspicious offers, please do not respond and notify the Georgetown Police Department immediately.”
To avoid falling victim to scams, Georgetown Fire and Police recommend that residents follow these tips outlined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
- Do not take calls from unknown numbers.
- Caller ID is not always accurate. A call from a “local” number might not be coming from a local person or organization.
- Do not share personal, identifying information like your Social Security Number, account numbers, or your mother’s maiden name.
- If a caller claims to represent an organization and you are doubtful, hang up and contact that agency to verify whether the call was truly from a representative.
- Never pay a caller with a gift card. Legitimate companies and organizations will not ask you to pay for any service with a gift card.
- Do not send cash by messenger, overnight mail, or money transfer. If you pay for a product or service with cash or a money transfer, you run the risk of losing the right to dispute fraudulent charges.
- Report any money lost to a scam call to local police.
- Report rude or abusive callers, even if you already sent them money, by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP or by visiting ftc.gov/complaint.
If residents have any questions or feel that they have been victimized, they are encouraged to call the Georgetown Police Department at 978-352-5700.