The Los Angeles Fire Department is warning residents to be wary of telephone solicitors who claim to be raising funds on behalf of the Fire Department and affiliated charities.
Several residents have complained about being contacted by a telemarketing firm called Firefighters Assn. of America and asked to donate money to causes with names like "The Burn Victims Fund" or the "National Firefighters Memorial."
"They're posing as do-gooders raising money for the Fire Department, without any consent from us," said Jon McDuffie, department spokesman. "The thing is, we don't do any fund-raising door to door or over the telephone. They don't represent us or any affiliated labor organizations or charities."
McDuffie said the telemarketers operate in a stealthy fashion. The firm lists only post office boxes as its addresses, and will not allow donors to mail in their contributions. Instead, the money is left in an envelope on their doorstep or in the mailbox, and a courier picks up the donation.
"That way they can't be traced," he said.
Residents who have been contacted by the company are asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department at (213) 485-2102.