LEWISTON — City officials are urging people to be cautious, after a report that someone has been calling area residents and representing themselves as a fundraiser for local firefighters.

In a news release Tuesday, Lewiston Fire Chief Brian Stockdale said the calls have nothing to do with the Lewiston Fire Department or its Union Local 785, the Auburn Fire Department or the Maine State Federation of Firefighters.

Dottie Perham-Whittier, Lewiston’s community relations coordinator, said she received a report on the city’s website from a resident who was concerned about the calls.

The Lewiston Police Department knows no one who has recently lost money to such a fundraising phone scam.

Lt. David St. Pierre urged people not to give out personal information, including credit card or bank account information, to strangers over the phone. He also suggested verifying any fundraising effort directly with the fire department, police department or other organization being represented.

The Federal Trade Commission has issued recommendations for people who have received police or firefighter fundraising calls. It suggests asking the fundraiser for identification, asking how the donation will be used and avoiding giving cash.

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