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Pima Fire Chief Scott Howell said if you receive a text with this image and a plea for donations, don't fall for it. It's a scam.

Unknown scammers are sending mass text messages to communities claiming to be selling T-shirts online to raise money for local fire departments. Last week some Pima residents received a similar text.

Thankfully, Pima residents did not fall for the scam, said Pima Fire Chief Scott Howell.

“I guess it’s happening in multiple areas throughout the state,” Howell said. “It’s just one of those things that’s a large scam.”

A quick Google check confirms it’s not just happening in Arizona, either. There are news stories coming out of Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and other states as well.

Howell said he was tipped off to the texts when Pima residents who got the texts contacted him to ask if it was real.

Since the department is made up of volunteers, the Pima Fire Department does have real shirts for sale to raise money for the department that say “I support the Pima Fire Department,” but they wouldn’t ever text Pima residents to buy the shirts, Howell said.

Instead, Howell said the department will sell them at community events where the department has a presence, or, sometime in the future, on their website.

McCoy Hawkins, chief of the Fort Thomas Fire Department, said his department also would not ever solicit for donations using text messages, only through the mail.

Safford Fire Department Captain John Archuleta said his department also does not sell T-shirts or do fundraising drives any more.

The department’s Volunteer Firefighter Association disbanded eight years ago, Archuleta said.

Several years ago, a group claiming to be a volunteer firefighters’ group raising money for Thatcher’s Fire Department attempted to scam Thatcher residents, Thatcher Fire Department Chief Mike Payne said, but the department does not solicit for donations, Payne said.

“We don’t have any T-shirt thing going on. (It’s) nothing that we’re doing. If there’s someone out there doing that, it’s not us,” Payne said. “You get those things going around all the time. You just have to be careful of what you do.”

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