Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, January 29, 2010

Citizen Alert-Be wary of phone calls from out of state claiming to collect donations for local fire departments

01-29-10 Citizen Alert-Be wary of phone calls from out of state claiming to collect donations for local fire departments

   Boise, Jan. 29, 2010 -The Boise Fire Department has been made aware of phone calls being made to Boise residents recently claiming to be collecting donations for the city's fire department. The caller says donations will be used to buy new firefighting equipment. 

   Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan says neither Boise City nor any Ada County fire department uses phone solicitations to collect donations for equipment. The information about the call has been passed onto Boise Police and the Boise area Better Business Bureau.

   About the phone calls: According to a citizen who received the call at his home last night, the caller claimed to represent the "Firefighter's Support Fund". He claimed any donations would go to a city fund to help purchase equipment for Boise firefighters. When asked, the caller said he was calling from Punta Gorda, Florida. When the Boise citizen told the caller he had reached the home of a Boise City firefighter who was unaware of any such fund to buy equipment, the caller hung up.

   Crime Prevention Info: Some local associations who support Boise area emergency responders do use telephone solicitations to raise money for very worthy LOCAL events. So how can you know your donations are going to a local cause?

   Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan, along with Boise Police and the Boise Better Business Bureau, offer citizens this advice:

- Before you donate, check with your local fire, police, or emergency response agency to confirm that they, or an organization associated with the agency is involved in the solicitation.

- Most local fire and police-related agencies who use telephone solicitation use LOCAL companies. The caller will gladly give you their local company name, an Idaho phone number, and should be polite in answering any of your questions.

- Most local fire and police-related agencies who use telephone solicitations for donations do so to raise money for specific charitable events - NOT for items like basic equipment, which is the responsibility of local government.

- If citizens have any questions regarding a telephone solicitation, they can also contact the Boise area Better Business Bureau at 342-4649.