Charities tell public how to spot a fundraising fraudster

The Oxford Times: David Soloman David Soloman

CHARITIES cheated by an Oxford fraudster have offered advice to supporters on how not to get caught out by conmen in the New Year.

Fraudtster David Solomon, who was convicted in December, told people he was collecting money for the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and the now-defunct group Cancer Relations.

The 35-year-old of Kimmeridge Road, Cumnor, claimed to be doing a walk to raise funds because he said his father had died of cancer and his brother was a current sufferer.

He provided authentic-looking sponsorship forms and told people to give cash on the spot if they wanted to donate.

When he was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years, on December 17 at Oxford Crown Court, Solomon was told by Judge Gordon Risius he had taken “advantage of people’s generosity” in order to make money for himself.

Solomon was convicted of three counts of fraud by false representation on November 13 last year and admitted a further two counts.

Following the hearing Andrew Russell, head of supporter development for the British Heart Foundation said: “We’re keen to highlight some top tips to spot a genuine fundraiser.

“It’s important to note that our fundraisers will always be wearing red BHF-branded clothing and will always carry an ID card. This card clearly displays their full name and photograph on the front. A genuine fundraiser will also never ask for cash or for the long card number across the front of your card.

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“Donations to the BHF are crucial to help us continue our life-saving work into the fight against heart disease in the county of Oxfordshire.”

Helen Johnstone, spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK in Oxfordshire, said its fundraisers would also be wearing branded uniforms and carrying fundraiser ID.

She said: “In addition, they carry a contact number which can be called to verify the fundraiser is genuine.

“They will also hold up to date information on us and our work, and will be able to advise where to go for further information on the charity or cancer itself.

“Volunteers carrying out cash collections are provided with a collection certificate and should be wearing a branded t-shirt or sash.”

To donate to Cancer Research UK call 0300 123 1022 and to donate to the British Heart Foundation call 0300 330 3322.

Comments (1)

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10:06am Thu 2 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

*Shakes head in disbelief*

If you are unsure of anybody whether they are collecting money for charity, claim they work for the council or working for a utility "board" don't use the telephone number they give you!

Walk away or close the door. Go online and obtain a number from a trusted website (or use a phonebook if you don't put it straight in the recycle box) give them a phone and verify the identiy of the person that way.
*Shakes head in disbelief* If you are unsure of anybody whether they are collecting money for charity, claim they work for the council or working for a utility "board" don't use the telephone number they give you! Walk away or close the door. Go online and obtain a number from a trusted website (or use a phonebook if you don't put it straight in the recycle box) give them a phone and verify the identiy of the person that way. Andrew:Oxford

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