7 ON YOUR SIDE

Montgomery County volunteer firefighters victimized by scammer

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At Montgomery County Station 15, the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department's trucks are poised to serve, the gear ready for when that alarm bell sounds.

But to make that possible, the volunteer department relies on donations. Its biggest fundraising event is the annual September carnival.

But a scammer, posing as a representative from McDonald's who bought $500 worth of tickets and food - supposedly to reward his employees - with a fake check.

It turned out that the scammer didn’t work for McDonald's, and he used the tickets for himself.

“We thought this sounded legitimate, he presented himself very well, and the check looked legitimate,” Risinger says.

The county police are now investigating but say if you're accepting a check from a stranger ask to see a driver's license, get their address and telephone number

“I'd say it’s becoming more common because it’s easier. People can create these fraudulent checks on the internet,” says Montgomery County Police spokeswoman Rebecca Innocenti. “Unfortunately, this shows you no one is immune; no organization or individual is immune.”

Volunteers had to eat the $500 loss at a time when fundraising isn't easy.

Unfortunately, police say they don't have a lot of leads, and these cases can be difficult to solve after the fact.

Isaac Green, President, McDonald's Restaurants of Greater Washington, D.C., released the following statement:

“McDonald’s is proud to support the communities in which we operate. Rest assured we take these matters seriously and thank ABC7 for bringing this to our attention.

Upon learning about these allegations, we began investigating to gather the facts. As a result of our investigation, we have determined that this check is fraudulent, and was not generated by McDonald's or our franchisees.

We are very disappointed to hear that someone would use our name and brand in this way. The McDonald's Family Restaurants of Washington, DC will be making a $500 donation to the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department in support of their community commitments.

We’d like to thank the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department for all they do, and wish them the very best in their continued efforts.”

For more, click here.

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