Devon Air Ambulance feeling the pinch after scamsters target the charity

PUBLISHED: 14:38 22 February 2010 | UPDATED: 12:51 10 June 2010

The genuine DAAT volunteers

The genuine DAAT volunteers

DEVON Air Ambulance Trust collectors have been facing problems since the charity announced bogus callers have been posing as officials.

DEVON Air Ambulance Trust collectors have been facing problems since the charity announced bogus callers have been posing as officials.

The charity said going public about the scam has 'backfired' because residents are now reluctant to talk to the bona fide collectors.

Heléna Holt, chief executive of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust, said: "Whenever possible we try and get our key messages across to the public with regard to our canvassers. These include that they are always in branded clothing, and that they will have a photo ID, issued by the charity, highly visible on a branded lanyard strap around their neck.

"With 71 per cent of our 17,700+ lottery members playing via standing order, people may be asked to fill in their bank details, but they will never be asked for cash.

"Whilst we wholeheartedly encourage people to be vigilant, our door to door agents are really suffering at the moment as no one wants to talk to them.

"Of course if you are still in doubt please don't part with your personal details. If you prefer, our lottery form has a freepost response slip, so the form can be filled in at your leisure and then posted back to the charity's HQ."

The charity said there were two ways of checking if charity callers were genuine:

* Ask to take a closer look at their ID. It's a plastic credit card type card, with Braille on the front, together with a photo of the representative, and an ID number which is unique to that person

* Ring DAAT on (01392) 469886 and check that our people are working in your area, where descriptions can be given, names and ID numbers confirmed.

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