SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. - A California woman is accused of scamming Holy Fire victims by pretending to collect donations for the victims and then selling them for profit.
Ashley Bemis, 28, of San Clemente, allegedly stole $11,000 worth of items, claiming to collect them for firefighters and their families. According to San Clemente police, she pretended to be the wife of a fake Cal Fire firefighter on Facebook. She asked for donations like drinks, baby items and beds.
She claimed in the posts that all of the donations she was collecting were going to firefighters battling the Holy Fire.
"All of these kind-hearted people are opening up their hearts. The firemen are out on the line fighting this incredible fire, and they want to help," said Lieutenant Michael Peters of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "And she prayed on that."
Detectives say that San Clemente residents took notice of the behavior on Facebook and reported her. Police then notified people to stop donating to her because she was not verified.
This wasn't the first time Bemis has pulled off a scam, according to sheriff's deputies. They have reports of another case in which she pretended to be pregnant, using a fake baby bump to collect gifts and donations.
No charges have been filed against her at this time. Stay tuned for more updates.
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