Scammers using firefighter deaths to collect money

Just days after the firefighter deaths, scammers are already at work playing with people's sympathy for the families of those who died.

"Unfortunately when a tragedy like this happens, the bad guys come out," said Phoenix Fire Captain Rich Bauer.

Firefighters are warning you to be careful. They appreciate your support, but they also want to make sure the right people and families get your donations.

Bauer said he's already getting reports of scammers who are out there pretending to raise money for families of the 19 firefighters.

He said scammers will ask for your credit card information and then for a one hundred dollar donation or whatever you can afford to donate.

"Who knows what they run on your credit card," said Bauer.

But he says there's a very easy way to know if you're being scammed.

"I want to make it really clear, firefighters do not call anybody at home for donations."

Bauer says firefighters in Arizona never solicit by phone asking for donations.

Instead, he was part of the 100 Club of Arizona phone bank at ABC15 studios, where they legitimately raised $121,000 for firefighter families.

Before you give a donation to any charity, ask lots of questions. Ask that they send information to you. Then if they pass the test, you decide whether you want to donate or not.

Also never give your credit card information to anyone over the phone because you don't know where it's really going.

You can donate money to firefighters through the 100 Club of Arizona.

For more resources about where you can donate money or other items to help the victims of this tragedy, check out our story here.

If you need help or need to warn others about a consumer problem or scam, let me know at or by going to my  "Let Joe Know" Facebook page.

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