Long Island fire departments sound alarm about possible donation scam
Long Island fire departments are sounding the alarm about an apparent scam from a donation mailer they say they have no affiliation with.
Don Mormino, with the South Farmingdale Fire Department, and says a letter has hit mailboxes in Bethpage, Farmingdale and Bellmore.
He says the solicitation asks for donations to support an annual fund drive for firefighters but say none of the money from the Volunteer Firefighter Alliance Charity has ever gone to them.
“The company has no affiliation with us at all,” Mormino says.
The Volunteer Firefighter Alliance Charity has a 57 rating out of 100, according to charitynavigator.org and has sent similar letters previously on Long Island.
The departments have taken to social media to warn people not to donate.
Experts say there are certain things to look out for to see if a letter is legitimate, including the letter head of the fire department, an email and a local phone number.
The fire departments’ annual fund drive mailers are set to go out next week.
Mormino says anyone who wants to donate but is unsure if a letter is legitimate can also call.
“We recommend you use a non-emergency number, speak with someone from your fire department and they will give you the information.
Alan Bohms, of the Volunteer Firefighter Alliance Charity, tells News 12 that they provide fire prevention material to departments across the country, including 57 in New York.