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Scammers take aim at Barrow residents

WINDER -- Be warned: Callers asking for cash to support emergency services in Barrow County are crooks, not philanthropists, officials say.

Barrow County Emergency Services leaders issued an alert this week after an upset resident claimed someone posing as a department employee called to ask for cash donations.

The money, the shyster claimed, would be used to "assist citizens that could not afford department services," said Lt. Scott Dakin, department spokesman.

The telephone call originated from the Birmingham area (area code 205). The department has turned the information over to the Barrow County Sheriff's Office for investigation, Dakin said.

Though the department, like many, has struggled with budgeting issues lately, to the point county government has considered closing a fire station, Dakin emphasized the department does not solicit donations by phone, not even for charities.

"We also want citizens to know that this department will never withhold any of our services from anyone, no matter what their financial state," he said.

Officials discourage anyone from coughing up financial information or cash. Anyone contacted for donations should call the Barrow County Sheriff's Office.