I’m troubled to see the return of a scam we’ve seen before in the area – that of door to door cold callers pretending to be deaf and duping people into giving to a charity that doesn’t exist.
I first covered this scam in 2015 here, when the perpetrator was female, this time it’s a man who is also believed to be stealing mobile phones.
West Midlands Police said:
We’ve had numerous reports of a scam operating in the West Midlands area involving a man pretending to be deaf.
A man has been entering businesses such as hotels and funeral homes and presenting staff with a sponsorship form and asking for cash donations.
The form is headed with a blue “Disabled and Deaf” logo. This is not a registered charity.
Unfortunately fake charities such as this try to take advantage of your generosity and compassion for others in need.
Not only do these scams cost you money, they also divert much-needed donations away from legitimate charities and causes.
The scammer has also been using the sponsorship form to cover and then steal mobile phones.
The scam has been reported in Birmingham city centre, Stourbridge, Warley, Great Barr, Digbeth, Halesowen, Pheasey, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield, Cradley Heath, Harborne, West Bromwich and Dudley.
An investigation is on-going. Please contact us via Live Chat at www.west-midlands.police.uk if you have any information.
• Ask the individual for details about the charity such as its full name, address and how the proceeds will be used.
• Check the organisation’s name and look them up. Check the website address to make sure it’s the same as what you searched for.
• Legitimate charities are registered – you check an organisation’s credentials on the GOV.UK website to see if they’re a genuine charity – https://www.gov.uk/find-charity-information
• Never send money or give personal information, credit card details or online account details to anyone you don’t know or trust.
• If you are approached by someone directly, ask to see their identification. Remember, even if they do have identification, it could be forged or meaningless. If you have any doubts about who they are, do not pay.
Please tell your relatives and neighbours about these callers and impress upon them how important it is not to buy from, or accept services at the door, and not to give to charity cold callers who may not be genuine. Some of these people can seem very plausible, but genuine companies will always contact you by other means.
Explain that no official body will turn up unannounced demanding money for services like drain cleaning, tree pruning etc., and that if they are at all unsure of any caller, to close the door and contact the police.