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Warning over bogus collectors

PUBLISHED: 22:30 12 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:51 03 March 2010

HOUSEHOLDERS were warned today to be on their guard against bogus door-to-door charity collectors after three RSPCA boxes were stolen.

Officials at the animal protection and welfare society fear that someone may use the boxes to call on homes and pretend to be collecting cash - only to pocket the money for themselves.

HOUSEHOLDERS were warned today to be on their guard against bogus door-to-door charity collectors after three RSPCA boxes were stolen.

Officials at the animal protection and welfare society fear that someone may use the boxes to call on homes and pretend to be collecting cash – only to pocket the money for themselves.

Patricia Monk, organiser of the house-to-house collections for the Suffolk East and Ipswich branch of the RSPCA, urged householders to be vigilant.

She said that genuine collectors would have official ID and be able to answer questions about the work of the charity.

"Over the past few months three RSPCA collecting boxes have been stolen and are now possibly in the hands of the unscrupulous few who are happy to continue stealing from the charity by the pretext of being genuine collectors and accepting donations from unsuspecting residents," said Miss Monk.

"All collectors from the Suffolk East and Ipswich branch of the RSPCA must be over 17 years of age and wear an identity card stating the area in which they are permitted to collect.

"The collecting boxes are of the tub style bearing the authentic RSPCA label.

"If questioned, the collector will be happy to inform you as to how your donation will be used."

Two of the missing boxes had been stolen from commercial premises and the third in the burglary of a collector's home.

Miss Monk urged anyone suspecting that a collector visiting their home might not be genuine to contact the police immediately.

A police spokeswoman said there had been no complaints in recent weeks of anyone using an RSPCA box under false pretences but people should be vigilant when giving donations on the doorstep.

People should always check the ID of callers and never let anyone into their homes unless they are sure of their identity.

n Felixstowe police said a woman is currently on bail pending further investigations in connection with alleged offences of falsely using a Blue Cross collecting box. She will return for further questioning in June.

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