With the sad news of the loss of three firefighters, the serious injury of other firefighters, and the loss of homes to the fires, our attention has focused on the fires around Chelan, Twisp and Okanogan. We are thinking about and praying for the fire fighters who died yesterday and for their families.
While local or state law enforcement agencies have yet to report any instances of scammers trying to take advantage of the situation, this is a good time to be wary of any unsolicited phone calls or emails asking for a donation for the victims of the fires.
Scammers may pressure you make a quick donation. They want to appeal to your emotions and get you to act while you are emotional. Scammers call it getting the victim under the “ether.” They may also ask for payment directly with your bankcard or debit card. They may also ask for payment via a pre-paid gift card. Do not give out your personal information or pay by methods that cannot trace payment such as pre-paid gift cards or money grams.
The Red Cross and KING TV have set up a web site for donations to help people in the Western Wildfires at http://www.redcross.org/cm/kingnwcn-pub.
For more information about charity scams go to:
Federal Trade Commission:
AARP Fraud Watch Network: