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Scam artist posing as member of area fire department

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

County residents need to beware of scam artists in the area attempting to collect money on behalf of local fire departments.

Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Troy Nichols contacted The Brazil Times Wednesday night about citizen reports of a scam artist "working" homes in the area of County Road 600 North.

Witnesses said the scammer was apparently a white female driving a Mazda. Further description was not available as of press time, but Nichols said the Clay County Sheriff's Department was investigating the case.

It is unclear if the scammer has attempted to collect money for any other local fire department or charity, but residents should be leery of anyone showing up uninvited and without proper credentials to collect money. Because scammers don't like questions, officials urge people to ask for identification and to call the charity organization before making donations.

Although the fire department is currently involved in a fundraising effort by mail, Nichols said department members are not going door-to-door for collections.

"We will never just show up at someone's front door and ask for money," Nichols said. "If we had to visit someone, for whatever reason, we would be dressed in a department uniform and be driving a department vehicle. But now, if someone shows up at a local residence asking for money, the homeowner can call me to find out if the person is actually part of the department. We can't have this type of thing going on."

To ask Nichols about fire department personnel, call 812-201-7911.

To report information about this case or any other potential scam, contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535.



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