The Consumer Fraud Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice became aware of potentially fraudulent calls to Delaware homes recently.

The Consumer Fraud Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice became aware of potentially fraudulent calls to Delaware homes recently.

The fraudulent calls were exploiting a recent tragedy in which two Wilmington firefighters died in the line of duty.

Residents are encouraged to be follow guidelines when answering a solicitation call. Delaware law requires callers to supply information including:

—Whether they are a paid fundraiser.

—Where they are calling from, including company name and location.

—The charity for which the funds are being raised.

—The amount of the consumer’s donation that will actually go to the charity.

—If the charitable solicitation is on behalf of an individual or their family and whether they have permission from the individual or family to make use of that person’s name, picture or likeness in their charitable solicitations.

—If they are calling on behalf of police, fire or law enforcement, they must either be an actual law enforcement employee or have written permission from the state, county or local first responder organization to make the call.

Residents are advised to never give credit card or bank account information over the phone. A legitimate charitable organization should be willing to mail a written donation form and envelope. Those who wish to contribute toward a fund benefitting families of the fallen firefighters may contact the Wilmington Fire Department directly.

To view lists of legitimate charities, visit the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org, Charity Navigator at charitynavigator.org or the American Institute of Philanthropy at charitywatch.org.

Anyone who suspects they have been scammed or have received a suspicious solicitation can call the Attorney General’s toll-free Consumer Hotline at 800-220-5424 or email consumer.protection@state.de.us.