Village of Butler — The Butler Police Department is warning residents to be suspicious of phone calls claiming to be the Butler Volunteer FIre Department seeking your money; the calls are coming from a scammer.
Butler Fire Chief Ron Worgull said a woman called the department at night Friday, Dec. 30, because she was suspicious about the origins of a donation she made after she received a phone call asking for donations to the department. As soon as Worgull received her message the following morning, he quickly contacted the police department.
On Sunday, Jan.1, the fire department issued a statement on its Facebook page: "We want to let everyone know that the Butler Police, nor Butler Fire Department would never call our residents to solicit money over the phone."
The crime originated in Milwaukee County, so Butler police do not have jurisdiction over the case.
Fortunately for the caller, she was scammed for less than $30, according to Police Chief David Wentlandt.
“She (the victim) told the officer that she did make the contribution and was just somewhat suspicious after the fact," Wentlandt said. "I have no idea how she made payment — whether it was through a check or Paypal, I don’t know. You just have to be careful; if you get any suspicious solicitations, get in contact with your area police department to make sure it’s legitimate.”
The Butler Volunteer Fire Department is a private corporation that contracts with the village, so Worgull said the only way the fire department can ask for donations is if its entire voting membership approves the campaign.
Three years ago, the department organized a successful fundraising campaign for a new defibrillation unit, but solicitations were made on official department letterhead through the mail and on flyers only. The department also had a large banner outside of the station with information on the project and a direct phone number for residents who had additional questions.
“It is wise for anyone who gets that phone call to call the party they were asked to donate to before they send a check or any other contribution," Worgull said. "There’s a lot of scams going on, and we just try and cut back on that. As far as we’re concerned, this case is closed.”