MOUNT PLEASANT (KDKA) — There’s a letter going around Westmoreland County asking residents to give, if they can, to help the Mount Pleasant Volunteer Fire Company. It looks legitimate, until you look closer.
“The questionable part was when you send a donation, [the letter said] send it to Kansas,” Mount Pleasant Fire Chief Jerry Lucia said.
Several letters arrived in residents’ mailboxes. The fire chief’s neighbors got one.
“He actually wrote his check out and was ready put it in the envelope, and when he saw the return address was Kansas, he stopped,” Lucia said.
The letter looks official, coming from the “Volunteer Firefighter Alliance,” headed up by someone named Alan Bohms.
“It’s another scam,” Lucia said.
The body of the letter tells the recipient they’ve been selected as someone who might agree to volunteer at one of the local volunteer fire departments in the Mount Pleasant area, which is interesting considering who didn’t get the letter.
“They probably have a roster of firemen because none of us got one,” Lucia said.
At the bottom of the letter is where they ask for money — $15 to $500 — and they even request a phone number to discuss the contributor’s generosity. Your checking account number, your home address, your phone number and your money end up in one envelope headed to Kansas.
Lucia says if you sent a check to the bogus address, contact your bank and see if you can stop payment on it. If you sent cash, you may be out of luck.
If you received the letter and you have any question on what to do with it, Lucia says “rip it up and throw it away.”
Postal service investigators are on the case. Unfortunately, whoever is behind the scam picked a good place to target.
“All good people and they all support their local fire departments,” Lucia said.