Bogus Binmen Operating Charity Con

Residents warned against doorstep sponsorship appeal

Local residents are being warned to be on their guard against strangers knocking at their door claiming to be dustmen and asking for charity sponsorship.

The advice follows reports in some parts of the borough of householders being asked for money to sponsor a skydive in aid of a sick child.

Residents have been approached by a man claiming to be a local dustman, who says he is fundraising for a colleague's sick child. He asks for the money to be handed over there and then

It is doubtful that the man is a genuine refuse collector and more than likely the story is a hoax. The borough's refuse contractor Biffa says that his story does not appear to tally with anyone working for them.

Refuse collectors in Wandsworth are strictly forbidden from approaching residents and asking for cash, gifts or tips of any kind. They face stringent disciplinary action, including dismissal, if they solicit for tips.

Environment spokesman Cllr Sarah McDermott said: "Nothing is more intimidating than someone knocking at your door asking for money. This is especially disconcerting when it happens at night.

"It is very doubtful that whoever is making these approaches is a genuine refuse collector and much more likely that he is an opportunist hoping to cash in on residents’ generosity.

"If this is a genuine fundraising effort then he should be prepared to give you an address to send the money or a bank account you can pay into rather than simply asking you to hand over notes and coins on the doorstep

"If any charity collector is unwilling to provide these details then the best response is a firm and polite no before closing the door."

Any approaches for money by people claiming to be refuse collectors should be reported to the police straight away or the council’s waste management team on (020) 8871 8558. This number can also be used for general refuse collection enquiries.

October 19, 2010