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Weekly Fraud Update From West Mercia Police – Economic Crime Unit – 12/03/2024 [#230001173]


Fraudsters rely on the public’s generosity in giving to charities and good causes, and may claim to be fund raising by impersonating a genuine charity or have set up a fake charity. These may be very often tied in to topical events in the world such as natural disasters or the many human problems around the world caused by war and conflict.
Criminals may use various methods including emails online, door to door collections or street collections for cash or to get people to sing up to Direct Debit payments for a Charity. Whilst many may be genuine the public are advised to always be wary, and ensure you are not giving money to fraudsters.

Simple checks you can do include:

  1. Check the Charity name and Registration Number at https://gov.uk/checkcharity
  2. Check the Fundraising Regulator’s online directory to make sure a charity is committed to good fundraising practice – see https://gov.uk/checkcharity
  3. If you still have doubts, then ask for more information as any genuine charity will be happy to give you more details.
  4. Any appeal should be clear on precisely what your donation will be used for.

Street and door to door collections:

  1. Collectors should always wear a visible and authentic ID badge
  2. Collection buckets should be securely sealed and undamaged; fundraising materials should always show the Charity name, registration number and a landline phone number.
  3. If in doubt, ask them for more details.

Online Charity Appeals

  1. Never click on links in emails and attachments, but visit the Charity’s website yourself and check the Charity registration number.
  2. Never respond to unsolicited messages asking for personal and financial details.
  3. Beware of any advertising materials that just display a mobile telephone number.
  4. Never respond to requests for donations through a money transfer company.

So, only give to Online Fundraising pages from known and trusted sources, and contact that Charity direct if in doubt. If you still think the appeal is false, then report it to Action Fraud. (Contact details below.)

Take Five to Stop Fraud

STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud


Avoid disclosing security details

Emails, Phone Calls and Texts may not be authentic

Always make direct contact with any organisation by using a genuine phone number

Stop and Challenge any unexpected requests

Protect others by reporting Fraud and Scams

If you’ve fallen for a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk

Scam Text messages can be forwarded to 7726 to help phone providers take early action and block numbers that generate spam on their networks.

Forward Fake Emails received to report@phishing.gov.uk

If you think your bank account or personal banking details have been used fraudulently, then use the short phone number – 159 – to contact the Fraud Prevention Department of most major UK banks