Puget Sound Fire announced this week that it has been notified by concerned residents about phone solicitors who claim that donations to them benefit local fire departments.

“This is not true,” the agency said. “Puget Sound Fire does not receive any funding this way and does not solicit for money over the phone or door to door.”

PSF adds that these scam phone calls often have a “253” prefix, making them appear to be local.

“While decisions to donate are up to our residents, we encourage everyone to research before giving,” they added, and advise all to ask solicitors:

  • What is your federal tax ID number?
  • Are you a 501c3 nonprofit? If so, what is your nonprofit number?
  • Are you licensed to solicit in Washington State?
  • Do you have written material, such as a brochure, or a website to review?
  • Do you have a call back number?

Failing to answer these questions fully should raise red flags with residents.

If you are concerned that the caller is not legitimate, you can:

  • Contact the Washington State Attorney General’s office and file a complaint at www.atg.wa.gov.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint or learn more about a charity at www.bbb.org.

Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...