Police warn Arsenal's charity penalty shoot out is a con

Phony football supporter duplicates door-to-door sponsorship scam

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Following the arrest and successful prosecution of a con man purporting to be from Arsenal Football Club’s official charity, Treehouse who was operating in Chiswick, Police are once again appealing for information about another man believed to be employing the exact same scam only this time across the wider local area.

The man, in his 30s, knocks on people’s doors claiming to be an Arsenal reserve or youth player. Dressed in a fake Arsenal strip, he asks for money explaining he is collecting for a charity ‘half-time penalty shoot out’ at the Emirates Stadium. He even tries to prove his identity using Arsenal headed notepaper.

But the club has advised police that there are no penalty shoot-outs at Arsenal home matches and that they use official charity collections rather than door-to-door collections.

Arsenal has received complaints from over 30 people who have been subject to this scam. Although mainly small amounts of money have been stolen, one victim lost £80.

Safer Neighbourhood's Sgt Liz Huggins advised "Do not give money to anyone who comes knocking at your door unless you are completely satisfied with their identity and the cause they are collecting for. If you are not happy,and you believe that the person is acting suspiciously, then please take their description, as full as possible and notify the police. If you call us at the time by dialing 999 we will be able to act immediately on the information.

"If you don't want to call police immediately, then please contact your local safer neighbourhood team with the information so that they can then keep an eye out for the person concerned."

If you believe you have fallen victim to this scam or have any information that could help, please contact your local police station, rather than Arsenal Football Club.

If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

August 17, 2007