The charity MacMillan Cancer Support have recently received in the region of 20 calls from concerned members of the public reporting that they have received flyers asking for residents to place donations of clothing, bed linen, woollens and shoes, mobile phones, inkjet cartridges and jewellery in a plastic bag. Residents were then asked to attach the flyer to the bag and leave it outside their front door before 8am.
West Yorkshire Police have also already made arrests in connection with the bogus MacMillan callers.
Yesterday, two men were arrested in the Meltham area of Huddersfield. The 39 and 41-year olds are currently on bail, having been arrested on suspicion of Fraud by False Representation.
The Rothwell Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) also recently arrested two men on suspicion of being involved in a bogus charity bag scam in the Woodlesford area. The two men aged 29 and 26 from the Burley area were arrested on suspicion of Fraud by False Representation. They were later charged and will appear at Leeds Magistrates Court on the 3 November.
A West Yorkshire police spokesperson said: “Crimes such as these are especially unpleasant because those responsible prey on the goodwill and kind-heartedness of local residents who are want to support charitable causes.
“We would urge the public to remain vigilant, and are urge anyone who is concerned about any callers to their homes or has received, flyers or information claiming to be from a charity through their doors to contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team via 0845 6060606.”
Although the flyers look authentic, Macmillan Cancer Support are stressing that they do not collect donations from doorsteps. Roohi Lupton, Macmillan fundraising manager for Yorkshire, said: “Macmillan is not asking for donations of clothes and household goods at present. If anyone would like to find out how they can support or work with people affected by cancer and be sure that all their donation comes to the charity could I suggest they visit our website http://www.macmillan.org.uk or ring 01924 232440.”
In addition to the bogus MacMillan collectors, police in Kirklees have also received reports of bogus Oxfam workers operating in Honley, Huddersfield.
A burglary took place on the 25 October when a man posing as an Oxfam worker stole nearly £400 cash from the home of an 86-year old woman living on Grassmoor Fold.
Two other elderly callers in Honley have also reported similar calls from an Oxfam worker, though they had not been the victim of a crime.
Oxfam have stressed that they do not approach people’s homes to ask for cash donations, nor have they been in the Honley area for some time. They have asked people who may be unsure of the credentials of callers believe to be from their charity to contact 0300 200 1300.