Phony Food Network scam in Salem County

July 17, 2011 8:30:10 PM PDT
A person claiming to work for the Food Network nearly conned a local fire department out of thousands of dollars.

In the spring, a man approached the Carneys Point Fire Department with a fundraising idea.

He claimed he worked for the popular Food Network show "Dinner Impossible."

The man offered the department a chance to appear on the show, take cooking classes, and sell tickets to a special dinner at the firehouse.

Only after hundreds of tickets were sold for this month's event did the department realize it was all a scam and the man had no ties to the Food Network.

The man behind the scam has been arrested.

Department officials say if it had continued, the scam would have cost them $16,000.

Everyone who purchased one of the tickets was given a refund from the fire department.