Mishawaka Fire Department warning about phone scam

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 5:37 PM EST
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Grinches trying to scheme kind citizens are lurking around Christmas time, as the Mishawaka Fire Department is warning the public about a recent phone scam.

“We take the public’s trust that we get, and that’s on a high level for us. It’s really important to us,” said Lt. Josh Jester. “We don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. So when we hear about something like this, we feel like we gotta put it out there as quickly as we can.”

On Saturday, a fire captain received a call from a concerned woman, who had just received a phone call from someone claiming to be the Mishawaka Fire Department. The individual reportedly said they were collecting money to help fallen firefighters’ families. The woman declined to donate and said she wanted to confirm the fire department was holding a fundraiser.

“And at that time, I guess the person got kind of irate that she wouldn’t donate and kind of got really pushy for a donation, which at that point, she hung up the phone. And that’s when she called us,” Jester explained.

Mishawaka Fire Department will never ask for donations through private phone calls. They do an annual fundraiser called Fill the Boot to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Other times, uniform firefighters may be at local businesses - only for a good cause, emphasized Jester.

“We don’t ever go knock on doors or do anything like that,” he said.

Fundraisers are announced on the official Mishawaka Fire Department Facebook and Twitter pages.

“It was just disheartening that someone was trying to use our likeness to benefit whatever fund they were trying to benefit,” said Jester.

If anyone receives a call from someone pretending to be the Mishawaka Fire Department, report the scam to the department headquarters by calling 574-257-0620.

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