Authorities warn of firefighter donation scammers in Clermont County

BATAVIA, Ohio -- Authorities warn Clermont County residents to be on the lookout for scammers knocking on random doors this week.

The Clermont County Fire Chief’s Alliance said the individuals, who have not been identified, are asking residents to donate to Clermont County firefighters and Tri-State burn victims. However, the Clermont County Chief’s Alliance has not and does not plan to endorse any such activity, Fire Chief Arthur Owens said.

Owens said the origin of the illegal activity is unknown at this time, but authorities are investigating.

"It's easy to play on the emotions when somebody comes and asks for donations for a fire department or police department," Owens said. "But please check it out, we did not endorse it so please do not give money."

He said scams can happen as temperatures warm up.

"Typically what happens is they get caught in one area and move to another," Owens said. "It could be Clermont County today, Brown County or Hamilton County tomorrow."

Resident Dave Schulz told WCPO reporter Amy Wadas that he hadn't seen any suspicious activity, but he would keep his eyes peeled.

"My wife's home, I'm home, our grandson, so there is usually somebody home in our area," he said.

"It's really pitiful. I mean you really would want to give to something like that if it was for real," neighbor Debbie Carmichael said. ""We're usually pretty generous but you usually can tell when someone is legitimate or not, if they have the right credentials."

Owens said there's something you can do, even if it's hard to tell the difference.

"Air in your favor.," he said. "Tell them 'no' until you check out the organization they're trying to represent. They should have some ID, maybe letters of reference."

For additional information on the scam, contact Owens at 513-876-3740.

RELATED: How to check if a charity is real or a scam

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