Donations Collected by County Firefighters Union Not a Scam

Residents should not confuse legitimate efforts with a reported scam for donations to a fake fire department.

UPDATE (1:33 p.m.)—The Baltimore County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics IAFF Local 1311 union is collecting funds through phone calls and by checks left on doors, according to union president Michael Day.

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Residents should not confuse this effort with an earlier report of a scam for donations to a fake fire department, Day said.

The alerted residents Tuesday morning of a possible scam involving requests for donations to the "Nottingham Fire Department."

Day, however, said that no one representing the union would identifiy themselves as affiliated with the "Nottingham Fire Department," as no such fire department exists. 

"If we have someone who is a bad egg ... or deviating from the script, they are fired immediately," he said.

The nearest fire companies serving the Perry Hall area include the , Baltimore County Fire Station 8, Fullerton, the and the .

Are you aware of any scams this holiday season? Tell us in the comments.

A38 November 29, 2011 at 05:45 PM
The paid Baltimore County Firefighters were calling and collecting checks.
Immanuel Baptist Church November 29, 2011 at 05:50 PM
We received a call like that. My husband said he would make a donation and then they said to tape it on the door for the next day. After he hung up, we both thought it sounded sketchy and didn't do it. They called the next day wanting to know where the money was. The call came from "Baltimore County" on our caller ID, but we still didn't trust them. It just didn't sound right. I don't know which Fire Department they said they were from.
Emily Kimball (Editor) November 29, 2011 at 05:59 PM
I'm waiting on a call from the county. Do you know if the number the call was coming from was a 410-887-XXXX number?
Immanuel Baptist Church November 29, 2011 at 06:06 PM
I honestly can't remember for sure. This was several weeks ago. I seem to remember that it was 410-817-xxxx but I can't be certain.
Beth Olcott November 29, 2011 at 06:06 PM
I got a call from "Baltimore County" saying that they were collecting (in the same manner as listed in the article) for the Fullerton house. I did leave a check, but they instructed me to write "for deposit" on the back of the check so that it could not go anywhere but into the account of the BCFD. I hope it wasn't a scam.
Immanuel Baptist Church November 29, 2011 at 06:10 PM
I just called my husband. He said it was Fullerton who called us also.
Emily Kimball (Editor) November 29, 2011 at 06:14 PM
The alert that I received was specifically about calls from those who claim affiliation with the "Nottingham Fire Department."
Christie Pulvino November 29, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Oh my gosh, I feel like such a dingo if I got scammed, I thought I was smarter than that! I left a check for a fire department that I thought was a Baltimore County one and I remember the check was addressed to BCPFF. Is that legit or did I get scammed?
Beth Olcott November 29, 2011 at 06:22 PM
it was BCPFF that I wrote my check to as well.
... November 29, 2011 at 06:30 PM
I got the same calls as above. Numbers were 443-341-0118, 443-341-0114, 443-341-0119. It did say Baltimore County on my caller id, but still. I agreed to a donation and then had second thoughts as I thought it could be a scam. I ended up putting them on my call block as they must have called me 100 times a day for two weeks straight.
Tim November 29, 2011 at 06:39 PM
If you have any doubt folks, don't do it. There are much more secure means of donating to these same worthwhile causes. Odds are pretty good this was a scam.
Emily Kimball (Editor) November 29, 2011 at 06:46 PM
UPDATE (1:33 p.m.)—The Baltimore County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics IAFF Local 1311 union is collecting funds through phone calls and by checks left on doors, according to union president Michael Day. http://patch.com/A-pcJc
Immanuel Baptist Church November 29, 2011 at 06:53 PM
oops - I guess we owe the Fullerton Fire Department a check! Maybe they should consider collecting in a different way though. It just didn't seem legit to us.
Gomer Pyle November 29, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Just write those checks out to me and I'll make sure the money gets delivered..... :P You would think the Fire Department Union would have a better way of collecting money. Asking someone to tape a check to the front door is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is someone actually taping a check to the door.
Christie Pulvino November 29, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Even more ridiculous is a bully like you bashing people anonymously. I love how mean people can be when they don't have to sign their name to their comment. You, Gomer Pyle, whoever he is (yeah I am young enough not to really get the reference) make mean comments all over this patch and quite frankly I am fed up with you. Yeah, looking back, probably not the smartest move, but it was only $20 and I appreciate the service of the fire department, so giving people the benefit of the doubt I donated some money to a supposedly good cause in a poor economy where I am sure many charities are struggling Why don't you man up and at least post your name if you are going to bash people with good intentions...
Greg Burton November 29, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Seem to think we pay enough taxes to support the fire fighters.
Joe November 29, 2011 at 11:17 PM
Seriously Gomer! Christie is right. Why do you have to bash people when they are just acting on good intentions. When you need the services of fire department one day it will be generous people like Christie that help make that possible. You should thank her instead of making fun of her.
Bird November 29, 2011 at 11:29 PM
I agree with Christie. Gomer you are tool! It is people like you who live to complain and make fun of others who have a good heart. Christie, keep the faith in people!
Mike Pierce November 30, 2011 at 03:17 PM
All the fire departments should stop soliciting money by phone calls. And asking people to tape the check to the day is ridiculous. Kingsville sends out mail solicitations. That is the only way that is appropriate.
Mike Pierce November 30, 2011 at 03:26 PM
Obviously I meant "tape the check to the door". Just had a Rick Perry moment!
Gomer Pyle November 30, 2011 at 04:36 PM
No one is bullying anybody here. You were never singled out in my post. Get over it. Christie, after reading previous comments you have left on stories such as the kid impersonating a State Trooper outside the mall, its not surprising you would be so naive. As for posting my name, what is your reason for wanting to know it? Are you going to pay me a visit one day? You obviously know nothing about identity protection. Just keep putting those checks with your bank account info. on the front door.
Gomer Pyle November 30, 2011 at 04:38 PM
Merry Christmas Bird.
Tracey November 30, 2011 at 09:59 PM
If you really want to donate to that fire company, why not put your check in an envelope and mail it to the fire station, or drop it off. seems like a safer way to make a donation.
Patty Gavrilis December 01, 2011 at 03:32 AM
My son in law works at Fullerton and was at my house for dinner when I got the call so I told them he'd deliver it on his next shift. The next day they called back and said it would be easier to just tape it to the door, which I thought was ridiculous since he could just take it himself!
William Lutostanski Jr December 01, 2011 at 01:53 PM
This money does not go to your local fire department. The donations are solicted by a company contracted by the BCPFF Local 1311, the union. The union uses the money for their smoke detector program, fire victims assistence program, and various fire prevention programs. This company has been known to misrepresent itself over the years as your local fire department. The method of taping checks to the door is one way they accept donations, personally I would never do this and it is a " shady" practice and dangerous to leave your information taped to the door. With that being said the money does go to worthwhile cause at the end of the day, just know what and who you are donating too as it becomes confusing with the manner in which they solict.
jack amrhein December 02, 2011 at 07:23 PM
I echo what Will has said in his comments. The "Local” (as many call it) firefighters Union does use an agency to solicit by phone. They have been known over the years to not be 100% forthcoming when they call; I know, they've called me and have been evasive when I asked questions. They are though, doing their job. That being said; the money does go to good causes and projects provided by "The Local" throughout Baltimore County, but may not necessarily go to your specific community. I would caution citizens about leaving a check with not only your personal information, but also your account and bank information on your door. Identity theft is all over the news these days. Leaving it out is just not a good practice. I encourage citizens to keep donating; however I would suggest they send their checks to either the Union Hall directly (address available on the internet) after the phone solicitations or to learn who their local volunteer fire station is and send directly to them as well. Most Volunteer stations send direct mail requests several times a year. A stamp or 2 is much cheaper than recovering from identity theft. Stay safe.
Dina El-Mahdy December 22, 2011 at 05:19 AM
I just got home phone for the first time since I came to the States in 2005. Sadly, 90% of the calls I receive are for donations to the police, firefighters, US troops,...etc. People who call me know my full name, home address, phone numbers, and surprisingly they know my salary!!! When I google the names of these not-for-profit associations, I find many people agree that they are scams. I have no clue how could people get all my private information that easily!!!!
Kali January 25, 2013 at 11:59 PM
I just received a call from someone soliciting a donation for Baltimore County Fire Departments, and as before I requested they put me on their do-not-call list. For the last 2 years I have requested my number be taken of their lists, and this only increases their calls and demands. The call is always from an obnoxious young man who refuses to acknowledge I will only contribute through the mail. In addition, they will not stop talking and end the call at my polite request. I always end up hanging up on them after repeatedly and politely requesting they put me on their do-not-call list. Very disturbing. Is there a number I may call to lodge an official complaint? Thanks


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