WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The Warner Robins Fire Department wants to warn you about an alleged scam involving them and a T-shirt.
This is something the fire chief said has never happened before--- a scammer trying to make money off the Warner Robins Fire Department.
Starting Tuesday, someone sent text messages to the public about a discounted Warner Robins Fire Department T-shirt.
According to the Warner Robins Fire Department Fire Chief Ross Moulton, several people have received the text, but he calls it a scam.
"It was really a shock to us to think that somebody would basically stoop to that level and try to use us to their benefit," Moulton said.
Chief Moulton asks you not to click on the link or respond.
"The Warner Robins Fire Department will not send out a text asking for anything. If there is anything that comes up about us or our needs, it will be posted on our official Facebook page or the city's," Moulton said.
The Better Business Bureau's Vice President of Business Development Jason Blankenship says whoever is selling the shirts is using an old trick called 'source credibility.'
"Because we know who Warner Robins Fire Department is, all the sudden, it means a little bit more to us," Blankenship said.
His advice: "Don't sign up for every free offer out there. Don't sign up for every free couple. Certainly, don't click on the link. Just swipe it and delete it," Blankenship said.
"It goes against our mission as firefighters. We are here to serve, not to be served, so we are offended that anybody would try and take advantage of our good name," Moulton said.
Chief Moulton said they don't ask others to fundraise for them, so if you see a text like this again, it's more than likely a scam.
Chief Moulton says, every year, the Warner Robins Fire Department fund raises for Muscular Dystrophy Association. Other than that, they don't ask for anyone's help.
The Better Business Bureau also has plenty of other tips to avoid scams.
Blankenship says don't click on any suspicious links, or buy anything you weren't already looking for.
He also says be wary of messages that seem like they are helping people, or anything that mysteriously involves money or personal bills. For example, he says, a fake IRS message is used to get you panicky.
He says anytime there is a natural disaster, or a tragedy people take advantage of those circumstances and set up a crowdsourcing page like GoFundMe, to scam people. He says here in Georgia, this oftentimes happens during tornado and hurricane season asking for funds to help someone fix their house.
Lastly, he says, pay extra attention around election season. People try and scam you to support political parties, too.
To check if a website or an organization is a scam, you can go to Give.org and verify.