Police are warning people in Gedling borough to be on their guard after fake fundraisers were reported to be operating in the area.
Officers say they have received reports of distraction thefts in Gedling where girls have approached members of the public with surveys and clipboards, claiming to be collecting on behalf of a various charities, schools and hospitals and asking them to sign a petition.
After filling in forms members of the public have been asked if they can provide identification. While confirming their details victims have later found cash has been stolen from their purses or wallets.
Incidents have been reported in Gedling
Two girls, aged 18 and 16, were arrested on suspicion of theft following an incident in West Bridgford on Saturday (1 December 1 2018). Both were subsequently released under investigation.
A spokesman for Nottighamshire Police said: “There are many legitimate charities fundraising for good causes – every pound lost to a scam charity is a pound less that can be donated to a reputable cause.
“Anyone asked to make a donation to charity in person and who wishes to do so should ask to see the identification of the fundraiser. All legitimate charity fundraisers carry official identification when fundraising. Make sure you are satisfied the identification is genuine.
“All charities have to be registered with the Charity Commission. Check if a charity is registered with them by visiting the Charity Commission’s website at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission
They added: “Don’t give out personal information and bank details to make a regular donation by standing order unless you are satisfied the person you are talking to is genuine. You can always phone the charity back on a known phone number published in the phone book or on the charity’s official website.”
Nottinghamshire Police can also provide members of the public with purse bells as an added deterrent to purse thieves. The bells can alert you if a thief tries to pull out your purse from your bag.
The bells are ordered as and when they are needed so if people want them they should contact their local neighbourhood beat team to see if they have any available.
Anyone who has lost money to a fraud similar to that described is advised to contact Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or you can report it online by visiting https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime