An American woman is suspected of making up a firefighter husband to scam people into giving her thousands of dollars that she said would be donated to Cal Fire crews battling wildfires in the state.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department are investigating her and say the San Clemente woman, Ashley Bemis, 28, received $11,000 worth of donations in cash and gifts.
On August 10 Bemis posted on the San Clemente Facebook page that she would be delivering food and other items needed by her husband and other California Department of Foresty and Fire protection firefighters and she requested the public's help.
She wrote in a post “Shane works for Cal Fire and is out on the Holy Fire right now."
“I also have two other family members and many friends out in the fire and other fires burning here in California. I received a text today from Shane saying it’s pretty much a living hell out there battling the unpredictable Holy Hell Fire,” reported the Los Angeles Times.
The Facebook post has since been deleted.
Community members in the Facebook group, including one who was a Cal Fire employee said they had suspicions about the woman and reported her to the police.
Carrie Braun a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s department said: "A Cal Fire employee ran the name ‘Shane Goodman’ in an internal database and learned that the person is not a Cal Fire employee.”
Investigators have interviewed Bemis , several people who donated to her and the owners of businesses where Bemis collected donations.
She hasn't been arrested or charged.