Scammers posing as firefighters accidentally targeted the deputy fire chief
WEST HAVEN -- If you're going to pull a phone scam on an unsuspecting victim by pretending to be a firefighter, make sure your victim isn't a deputy chief.
That's what happened recently to Scott Schwartz, deputy chief of the West Haven Fire Department.
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"It was probably just a random thing," recalled Schwartz. "The number came up and they decided to try me but it didn't work very well."
The deputy chief received a phone call at his home from someone saying they were collecting money for "firefighters and EMS workers." The request set off some major red flags for Schwartz, who questioned the caller.
"It was actually pretty short-lived," he said of the conversation. "Once I started asking them who they were, they hesitated, mumbled a little bit and then hung up so I don't know if they'd been getting that from people or they just happened to run into the wrong person at the time."
Schwartz called around and found out the scam is statewide and worries that this will put a bad light on the legitimate groups that actually do collect for firefighters. "We do ask for donations sometimes, and usually it's a reputable thing but when you find something like this it's definitely disheartening, especially around the holidays."
If you wish to donate to a local department or charity, it is recommended that you contact the group directly to ensure your act of kindness properly reaches the intended recipient.
It is generally recommended that if you receive a phone call that sounds fishy, hang up and notify your local police department.
It's not just "firefighters" you need to look out for -- this woman was scammed by a thief dressed as a parking attendant.
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