A Crime Most Wicked?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by CrownImperial, Dec 26, 2008.

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  1. Hello Chaps,

    not sure if this issue has been raised before, but basically:

    I was in my local boozer the other day, when 3 very 'decorated' veterans came in. They were wearing just about every commemorative veterans badge under the sun as far as I could tell, I didn't get a close look and am not the type to know all the veterans badges that exist in the last 60 years, so wouldnt be able to tell if they were fake or contradictory.

    After a conversation with the landlord, they handed over 2 red collection boxes that looked very much like those used for the poppy appeal, only this is december, and not poppy-tide. The landlord then placed them on the bar.. upon inspection, i found they were indeed poppy collection boxes, only with a crudely printed out paper sheet stuck over the usual label. This had 'charity collection team', or something written on it, and a commando dagger and other military esqe decals. On the other side, it read 'supporting help for heroes, support our troops and the poppy appeal'. The quality of the badge and the drastically different charity patrons caught my suspision... and after seeing the festive 'real hustle' it would seem that these type of scams are carried out alot, legally, aslong as those taking the money give *some* or their gains to charity- which can be a tiny fraction of the amount they recieve.


    Ofcourse, if this is the case, it's disgusting and a reason for the outrage bus to take a tour.. but how would I go about finding out if they are the real mccoy or not? Obviously, I don't want to grieveiously offend real genuine veterans for doing good work, or expose them to the indignity of a police investivation.. but i would like to out criminals of this gigantic calibre..
     
  2. Last couple of years I raised a load of money for Christmas parcels and I used a printed label over an XYZ charity box. It wasn't a registered charity but I did raise quite a lot of money and sent a lot of parcels out. (Search on here if you're interested)

    If they were doing the right thing with the money I wouldn't be concerned.
     
  3. H4H gives out receipts for all monies received. Get the pub landlord to ask them for a copy of this receipt to "put up in his bar" so all and sunder can see how much money they raised....


    that should shame them/bubble their game if they are fake.
     
  4. Well that's just it, if they are doing the right thing with the money, I wouldn't be fussed.... but if they are con artists and are giving 5% of what they get and pocketing the rest (which is what they apparently can legally do), then that's no good.

    I mean, the boxes are getting pretty full, not least because I put all my loose change in them whenever I can.. And I would hate to think that the charities are loosing out on people's generosity because of some wnkers that have dressed up as veterans.

    I've spoken to the landlord who I know pretty well and he says that all he has to go on is their word.. "but he saw all of their badges". Now, we all know confidence trickters gain confidence by elementary things such as making an impression.. wearing badges and blazers (I don't remember medals, but ebay is a dresser-uppers friend)..

    If they are conning the various charities, then surely this is the worst kind of crime possible: A walt who doesn't just walt around harmlessly with his mates, but actually takes away from genuine veterans in need. Now I would be all up for some hanging, drawing and indeed quartering of such individuals.... but it's finding out if they are which is the hard part.
    I reckon a receipt is a really easy thing to loose, easily explained away.
     
  5. The odds that this is a con or a high income - low dispersal swindle sound high from your write-up.
    The idea of having collection boxes scattered around is fair enough. The landlord is keen to help by the sound of it. Why not contact a charity you do trust and ask them to put their boxes in the pub and give these other guys the elbow?. That way, the money is still collected from decent people and everyone knows where it has gone. The ability to fudge up all sorts of legal looking documents on a pc and printer makes it easy for scammers to get up to all sorts of tricks. They need registration if collecting money, If they offer this - do not trust it at face value but check it back and back for authenticity.
     
  6. I am not 100% on this but if hey are collecting for charity there should be a reg. charity number on the collection boxes. This could be checked on the Charity Commision website and the collectors should have some sort of ID also with the charities number.

    I would hold onto the boxes until this could be verified, I'm sure the collectors would agree to this. Tell them your suspicions and gauge theeir reaction. If bona fide they would not object to you questions and actions. If they start kicking up a fuss call the local bobby. He probably could panic them if they are dubious. If unsure empty the boxes count the cash with witnesses then pay it into the charity via a bank.

    Hope this helps
     
  7. [quote="OldRedCap]"The odds that this is a con or a high income - low dispersal swindle sound high from your write-up.[/quote]


    Yes, I too would come down on the side of this as the most likely scenario.
    If they are working a rip off, and it's spread wider than a single pub, it'a worth digging a bit deeper, if they're challenged in one pub, they could easily continue in others

    I worked for a charity many years ago and although the majority of those involved were of the highest integrity, charities attract thieves like bees round honey- often because people of good intent find it hard to believe that there are other people who would rip them off. We certainly got more than our share of fraudsters and I think you will find that most national charities are on their guard for this type of theft.

    As it seems that these collctors claim/infer the Poppy fund is part-beneficiary and also use poppy collecting jars, I would suggest contacting the RBL (not locally, but the national HQ) I think that you'll find that they are very hot on fraudulent claims that use their name and collecting boxes.

    Not only are they losing income but if a fraud (assuming this one is) then the more it's allowed to proliferate, the less crediblity genuine charity collections will have and folks will start to shun the real ones- a bit like the old banking adage -'Bad money drives out the good'
     
  8. IF they are conmen? I'd do a little more groundwork and a lot more research before reaching for the "They are crooks"
     
  9. To collect money legally, i think you need to have a charity number. Just a thought?
     
  10. PTP & Rfn Warrior
    The level of inquiry needed to get over your level of suspicion is high and might be beyond the reach of ordinary man in the street. They may have a charity regn number - they would know one was required if they are scamming and would pinch one from some orthodox charity. If you discovered that the name for he number was not that of the pasted-over tins, they would well have a story ready that they were an off-shoot of the kosher one. Crooks is clever bstards nowadays!
     
  11. You don't need to be a registered charity r have a number to collect money for charitable or other causes.

    "Help them out" fund on ARRSE is a good example here. Ask to see their accounts if you are interested.
     
  12. The RBL does not permit the usage of Poppy Appeal boxes to be used for collections without express permission for fundraising outside of the period of the annual Poppy Appeal.

    When this permission is given, it is normally reserved for RBL sponsored events. Example would be an RBL fundraising dinner / auction where the collectors are introduced by the MC to those seated. If the original poster is 100% sure that these were Poppy Appeal tins, then local plod should be informed. They can then check with the local / national RBL to confirm etc.
     
  13. Agreed on the RBL poppy boxes but otherwise I stick by my comments above.
     
  14. As quite a junior detective I found a guy consistently and persistently ripping off a charity for the XXXXXX, by putting his own collection boxes in every high street shop but with their name on. Pennies a day, but with dozens of boxes it came to a hundred or so a month and it was enough to fund his passion for young children by enticing them into his flat with computer games.

    I wanted to blow the whole gaff in a public courtroom, but the charity had very strong views about the public associating rip-offs with their name. So much so, that even though I had seized enough money from him to enable compensation to the charity, they simply wanted the whole affair to go away and would not make any complaint. They were simply referred to as a 'small local charity' (small in local terms, enormous on a national basis).

    Justice was served in respect of the other offences, but here is a typical charity's view on the whole affair. Whichever charity may be the victim if your suspicion is founded, the bottom line is there is a possibility they will not welcome your sleuthing anyway.
     
  15. Invite them to collect the proceeds in front of the press and some RBL lads.