In one case, a business owner reported receiving a phone call from someone claiming he was raising money for a San Francisco Fire Department yearbook.
After the owner agreed to pay $195, a package came in the mail with a $195 collect-on-delivery fee and no return address. The merchant called the fire department and found out the fundraising effort was not legitimate and refused to receive the package, fire officials said.
Another resident reported receiving an email claiming that, on behalf of the San Francisco Fire Department, he had been issued a $1,000 Visa gift card free of charge.
The email instructed the man to go to a website to claim his prize and said there was a very short window of time for him to be able to complete the transaction.
The man also called the fire department before participating and found out the offer was not legitimate, fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.
The fire department "does not engage in any form of solicitation," Talmadge said. "We do not reach out to the community, in person, by email, U.S. mail or by phone, to raise money for anything."
Before donating or giving personal information to someone claiming to be from the fire department, officials urge residents to call the department at (415) 558-3403.