LOCAL POLICE in Murcia have used Twitter to once again warn people of the dangers of charity scammers.
This time, they have highlighted those who are pretending to be deaf mutes and approach innocent members of the public armed with clipboards and asking for donations. The forms look all above-board with official looking logos belonging to a fake charity association containing previous names and signatures from others that have previously donated.
As the unsuspecting and naive people look at the sheets and are distracted momentarily, another member of the organised group of clever thieves get ready to pickpocket or remove items from bags such as wallets, purses and mobile phones.
Such ‘charity’ scams have been well known for many years as mainly tourists and vulnerable elderly people are targeted by the criminals, sometimes in a very threatening manner if they refuse to sign so-called petitions and donation sheets. Some of these have been reported doing house-to-house calls, where they have been known to distract someone at their front gate while their associate gets into the property and takes whatever they can; the crime only gets noticed well after the event.
The overall advice from the police in all areas is not to stop and sign anything in the streets and certainly not give anyone carrying out these scams any money.