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Citrus digest

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 14, 2001

Officials warn of fake firefighter scam

INVERNESS -- Citrus County Fire Service Director Mike Schlaudraff is warning residents to beware of a telephone scam. He said his office has received several calls from residents who say they have been solicited by callers claiming to be with a firefighting group seeking donations. Schlaudraff said no local fire department is seeking donations, and that he has also checked with the main state association of firefighters. They aren't seeking phone donations, either. Schlaudraff said one elderly resident reported that a solicitor called her an "old bag." The woman reported that the man then threatened that firefighters wouldn't go to her home during a fire if she didn't provide him with a credit card number. Schlaudraff said anyone who receives such a call should attempt to obtain a return phone number or address and notify authorities. Under no circumstances should they provide credit card information.

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