Columbus Firefighters Sound The Alarm Over Scam - WSPA.com

Columbus Firefighters Sound The Alarm Over Scam

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According to Columbus Fire Chief Bobby Arledge, the scammers claim to be raising money for burn victims on behalf of the fire department. According to Columbus Fire Chief Bobby Arledge, the scammers claim to be raising money for burn victims on behalf of the fire department.
COLUMBUS, N.C. -

Firefighters are warning Columbus residents of a new scam.

“People feel like fire department/emergency service is something they can trust, give their money to and it will go to the right thing,” says Columbus Fire Chief Bobby Arledge.

But Arledge has recently learned that scam artists are pretending to be affiliated with his department and trying to take advantage of the community's generosity.

The scammers claim to be raising money for a burn victims’ camp in Asheville.

Arledge says there is no such camp, and the closest one for burn victims is in Wake Forest.

Town officials and police have received complaints from nearly 50 people.

The scam is currently under investigation which could take awhile, according to Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield.

“We have to have subpoenas and court orders to gain phone records and address information."

In the meantime, firefighters are concerned the scam could impact future donations to the department.

“When we are out looking for some help, it could hurt us in the long run because they won’t know if it is true or another scam,” Alredge said.

First responders often rely on charity events to help fill the unavoidable budget gaps.

Arledge says any extra money his department gets in goes towards equipment and training, necessities not worth losing to scammers.

To verify if a charitable organization in North Carolina is legitimate, click here.

Click here, if you want information on a charity in South Carolina.

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