Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland charity warning to residents over bogus cold callers

Concerned: Jackie Trainor
Concerned: Jackie Trainor
Brett Campbell

By Brett Campbell

A leading charity is warning residents not to give out bank details to fraudulent cold callers who have been targeting homes across Northern Ireland.

Staff at NI Chest Heart and Stroke started receiving phone calls from concerned citizens last week after they were confronted on their doorsteps by men claiming to be collecting money on behalf of the charity. They quickly raised the alarm on social media and alerted the PSNI .

"We have unfortunately been alerted to a number of incidents in the Tyrone/Fermanagh area of men calling to residents' doors requesting bank details on behalf of Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke," a Facebook post stated.

"In a few of these instances the men have appeared to have a charity collectors' badge, which we believe to be fake."

A number of residents in the Newtownards area of Co Down said they were approached by people claiming to be fundraising for the charity.

"This chap has just called at my door and convinced me he was doing charity work," one resident posted on social media. "Had the badge and number to contact, needless to say I didn't support him."

Another branded the perpetrators as "scumbags" and asked "how low" scammers are willing to go to get easy money.

Jackie Trainor, from NI Chest Heart and Stroke, said her office has been inundated with calls from people who have been targeted.

"We never do door collections - ever," she said. "We think it's intrusive and have a strict policy against doing it - so it's particularly concerning that we have received multiple calls from people who have been asked for bank details in our name."

The charity's head of fundraising expressed fears that the fraudsters actions will tarnish the organisation's reputation.

"People trust us and we will never do anything to jeopardise the relationship we have with our supporters," Ms Trainor added.

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