Hospice charity warns of fake fundraiser doorstep scams
Residents from across Birmingham have been warned to stay vigilant after a woman claiming to work for a city hospice charity visited several houses to fraudulently collect money.
Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has this week contacted police after residents in Selly Oak, Moseley, Northfield, Harborne and Kings Heath informed them of a woman calling at their door claiming to be collecting for the hospice and using an official collection tin.
She also asked for people’s bank details.
West Midlands Police are now conducting an investigation and the charity also took to social media to warn its followers of the fraudster, with over 1,200 people sharing the status.
Birmingham St Mary’s is a hospice charity serving Birmingham and Sandwell, and provides care and support to 500 people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
The charity has only recently launched a ‘Resilience Fund Appeal’ to help cope with the effects of Covid-19 and keep its services running.
Penny Venables, chief executive of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, says it is ‘heart-breaking’ to see such actions in the midst of a pandemic.
She said: "We are shocked and saddened by these events and are very grateful to the public for making us aware of them.
"It is heart-breaking that during the pandemic, when people are especially vulnerable, that someone is abusing people’s trust in this way.
"We’d like to assure people that Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice never carries out door-to-door fundraising and that we would never ask anyone for their bank details.
"All our fundraising team carry official ID cards, which can be checked with the Hospice.
"If anyone has suspicions about someone claiming to fundraise on our behalf, we encourage them to call the Hospice on 0121 472 1191."
Earlier this year Birmingham City Council issued guidance on Covid-19 scams, while National Trading Standards is warning people to ‘remain vigilant’ following a rise in coronavirus-related scams during the pandemic.
They advise visiting Citizens Advice’s scam checker to get advice.
To find out more about Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice and their Resilience Fund Appeal, go to birminghamhospice.org.uk/resilience/
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