|Bogus Cancer Charity Collector Cautioned|
Woman used two young daughters to obtain money by deception
A 31-yr-old woman was issued with a police caution on 23rd May 2007 for using her two young daughters to obtain money by deception.
On Wednesday 23rd May police were called to an address in Ealing after a resident called stating there was a young white girl knocking on doors in the area asking for money for charity.
Upon arrival police located two young white girls, aged 9 and 12yrs, in the company of an older white woman.
The woman stated that her daughters were collecting sponsorship money in the area for a sponsored silence in aid of a cancer charity.
They were in possession of sponsorship forms with a printed statement at the top stating they were collecting for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Enquiries were conducted with Macmillan stated that such an event took place in January 2007 but they had no knowledge of another one taking place at the present time.
The woman was subsequently arrested for Fraud by false representation.
During interview the accused stated that she had printed the sponsor forms from the Internet and that they had never planned to take part in any sponsored event.
She also said she had labelled the donation forms with a false name and filled out a couple of lines on the form with false names of sponsors to encourage people to donate. She didn't make any record of who had or hadn't paid because she didn't revisit addresses in case people became suspicious.
The money donated was used to feed her and her boyfriend's drug habit.
Police believe the woman accused has carried out this fraud across the W3, W4, and W5 areas over the last couple of weeks and may have collected as much as £2000.
The accused, who has no previous convictions, was given an adult caution on Wednesday 23rd May 2007 for this offence and social services were informed of her activities.
Police believe the woman may still be active as on Thursday 24th May, a white female in her thirties accompanied by a young white female were reported to have entered a store near Chiswick Park Tube Station claiming to be collecting for the McMillan Cancer Trust.
Ealing Borough Police spokesperson said “Unfortunately you cannot assume that all charity door-to-door callers are genuine. Bogus charity collectors prey on people's good will to fill their own pockets.
"Whilst there are genuine registered charities that utilise door-to door collection techniques, it's always a good idea to check the credentials of the collectors before donating. Genuine fundraisers carry identification and will be happy to answer questions about the charity - how much do they know about their worthy cause? If in doubt, make a donation direct to the charity of your choice instead. If people can avoid being duped by bogus collectors, genuine charities can only benefit.”
Stephen Richards, Macmillan Cancer Support Director for London said,"Sadly, in this case, the money people thought they were giving to Macmillan Cancer Support will not reach those most at need - people affected by cancer. Fortunately incidents like this are still very rare. We do take measures to minimise the risk of this happening and we're always endeavouring to tighten our controls even more."
"If you have any doubts about someone collecting on Macmillan's behalf, I would suggest you take their name and phone number and contact your local Macmillan fundraising office to check their legitimacy. Or, if you prefer, you can make your donation directly to Macmillan."
Anyone wishing to check on whether companies or their associates are registered charities, can telephone the Charity Commission on 0845 300 0218 or search their website at www.charity-commission.gov.uk
May 30, 2007