ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Roanoke Fire-EMS is alerting residents of a text message scam that has been circulating for the past few days.

(Photo courtesy: Roanoke Fire-EMS)

Fire officials say people in the Roanoke area have received text messages — from various phone numbers — with a link to order a department shirt.

As seen in the photo Roanoke Fire-EMS posted on social media, the message claims to offer a $10 off coupon for a department shirt that is “ready to order now” by clicking on a fake link.

Regardless of what phone number the text message comes from, it is not affiliated with the department in any way, according to officials.

Ken Nevers with Red Sea Information Security says you should never click a link that doesn’t look right. In this case, he says the link could just be to get people’s money.

Nevers recommends checking the phone number’s area code, saying that if it doesn’t match the area code for the locality in question, it’s probably a scam.

“It’s currently affecting EMS and fire departments and police departments across the United States, so it’s a widespread scam and it’s tugging on people’s heartstrings to do well and support their local heroes,” said Nevers.

According to Nevers, you can block the number, but that doesn’t help the people in the future who may also get the same scam text. Instead, you can report it using one of the following methods:

  • iPhones: Click here to be re-directed to Apple
  • Android: Click here to be re-directed to Google
  • All phones: Click here to be taken to the Federal Trade Commission’s website