Warning after fake charity collectors strike at homes

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FAKE charity collectors have been taking money from people on their doorsteps in Gosport.

Gosport Borough Council has put out a warning to residents after the annual Christmas charity collections in the town.

The Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent Lions and the Gosport Rotary Club have been making their rounds to pick up donations from people in Lee-on-the-Solent.

But when knocking on doors this month they were told by residents someone had already been round pretending to be from the Gosport mayor’s charity.

Carole Gratton, the secretary of the Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent Lions Club, said: ‘We were collecting and we got to one of the houses and they said someone had just been round.

‘We were very disappointed that people would do that.

‘We contacted the town hall to let them know what had been going on and hopefully warn people that it is happening.

‘It is disappointing that people would stoop so low.

‘The money we collect goes to people and causes in Gosport so they are taking from their own.

‘Everybody who is doing a proper collection is given a licence which you can ask to see and that’s the best way of making sure you’re giving your money to someone legitimate.’

The two charities finished making their door-to-door donation collections on Wednesday.

The Lions club raised around £1,200 from their doorstep collections this year.

Gosport’s mayor Chris Carter said the actions of the fake collectors were disgraceful.

‘To take money which people have donated expecting it to go to the benefit of charities and enhance the lives of others is a shocking thing to do,’ he said.

‘Sometimes the collecting team have a sleigh and music which people immediately recognise as being the real collectors.

‘But with such a large area to cover in such a short space of time it cannot be in all places at once.

‘All collectors carry identification so don’t be afraid to ask to see it if someone knocks at your door.’

Part of the money raised by the Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent Lions Club goes to Cllr Carter’s chosen charities.

They spent yesterday raising money in the Falklands Gardens, near the town’s ferry terminal.

The mayor’s charities include the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association Forces Help and other local charities.