Sidmouth charity's scam fears unfounded

PUBLISHED: 12:22 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:56 18 June 2010

FEARS that door to door fundraisers were in fact criminals, targeting Sidmouth residents in a bid to defraud a major charity of cash, turned out to be a case of crossed wires this week.

FEARS that door to door fundraisers were in fact criminals, targeting Sidmouth residents in a bid to defraud a major charity of cash, turned out to be a case of "crossed wires" this week.

Staff at the town's Oxfam shop had alerted police to what they believed was a possible scam after customers claimed a group of young men, sporting t-shirts bearing the charity's logo, had been knocking on doors and asking for donations to the cause.

However, a spokeswoman for Oxfam this week said "internal crossed wires" had led to the confusion, and, while the fundraisers were initially believed to be bogus, they were completely legitimate and contracted by the charity to boost a subscription service.

She added Oxfam fundraisers always carry identification and never ask for cash in hand. The spokeswoman urged residents to always check if fundraisers are legitimate.

A spokeswoman for Sidmouth police said Oxfam staff had raised concerns, but no members of the public had contacted them over it.

She said: "Should anyone be concerned about people knocking on their doors, they should let us know about it immediately so we can investigate there and then. We need to know when it is happening.


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