Ironton fire department warns of phone scam

Published 10:56 am Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ironton Fire Chief Tom Runyon said Tuesday his department is not soliciting donations by telephone — and no one is authorized to solicit on its behalf.

Runyon said an Ironton woman got a telephone call from a deep-voiced man who said he was taking donations for the Ironton Fire Department.

“He was specific about that,” Runyon said. “He offered package deals for $20, $30, and $40 and special rates for senior citizens. Because there were certain things about the call that didn’t sound right. She declined.”

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Runyon said the Ironton Fire Department does accept donations if someone or some organization wants to contribute but does not solicit them over the telephone.

“We don’t do that,” Runyon said. “And we are not aware of any association that has been given permission to do so in our name. We feel this is something we definitely need to get a handle on, and find out who is doing this and why.”

The woman told authorities the telephone call was listed on her caller ID as “unknown caller.” Runyon said the woman could hear people talking in the background and at one point, the man had her talk to another person about her decision not to donate.

The woman told authorities it sounded as if he had simply passed the phone to someone sitting next to him rather than putting the call on hold and transferring it to another person at another extension. The outfit even agreed to send the woman a packet of information.

Runyon said anyone who has received such a telephone call or a packet from this entity by mail should call the Ironton Police Department Detective Bureau at 532-5606.