Householders are being warned not to fall victim to conmen pretending to be raising money for the air ambulance.
Fraudsters are collecting people’s clothes under the pretence that they are doing so for The Air Ambulance Service, which runs the Baginton-based Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.
The charity is concerned that vital income could be lost as a result of companies carrying out fraudulent activities and try to trade on the charity’s good name.
Chief executive Andy Williamson said: “Christmas donations of money and clothing are crucial to our service and yet we now have to worry that criminals are distributing bogus bags that try to fool people into thinking they are giving to us when they are not”.
The service has recently received several reports of a hoax Charity, simply calling themselves “Air Ambulance Service”, sending out collection leaflets nationwide and encouraging people to donate to them. The leaflets (pictured right) ask people to donate unwanted items such as clothing, and provide a phone number and website address but do not include a registered charity number. The phone number provided is no longer in use. The company originally responsible for distributing these leaflets was caught out and closed down by the High Court two years ago. The company’s directors were subsequently prosecuted. At the time, it was believed that more than £1 million was extorted from the public by rogue collectors claiming to be from air ambulance charities.
Call 08454 130999 for more information about legitimate collections.