Parents admit charity letter errors..Or scamming????


Saw this on the MOD site. How can you check if people are scamming you? are there any other examples of this sort of thing?
I have given to Charity before and never thought people would miss-lead you in such cases.

Parents admit charity letter errors
From the Lancashire Evening Telegraph,

A COUPLE who have collected up to £30,000 to send their brain-injured son for overseas treatment have agreed to change the way they ask for money.

Evonne and Paul Taylforth have admitting there are inaccuracies in their fund-raising letters.

During the last five years, Evonne and Paul, of Maudsley Street, Accrington, have sent out thousands of letters asking actors, solicitors and businessmen across Britain to send money to help send their son John Aspinall for treatment at the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia.

But the family today admitted they have been sending out letters which fail to mention significant improvements in John's condition in recent years. They have also been sending out newspaper stories about John's difficulties which are up to nine years old but have had the dates removed. The letters include the following claims which his family admit are out-of-date:

John is 14 years old -- but he is now 18.

John's mum and stepfather need to give him 10 to 12 hours of therapy every day. They now only give him a limited amount at evenings and weekends.

John cannot get schooling from the local authority and his parents spend two hours a day preparing educational material. He attends a young people's unit at White Ash School, Oswaldtwistle, five days a week.

The American clinic is confident John will walk again. John's family have now accepted he will not.

John will need at least 10 more trips to America over the next five years. His family plan to make a final trip this summer. In 1997 the family updated letters after the Lancashire Evening Telegraph pointed out that they said John was 12 when he was actually 15. Letters sent later that year stated that John was 14 -- and similar letters were being sent out as recently as a fortnight ago.

The Evening Telegraph approached the family this week after receiving calls from people who were asked to donate money and wanted to check whether the appeal was genuine.

John's stepfather said a printing firm had produced 25,000 letters some years ago and he and Mrs Aspinall had been sending them out without making changes.

He said they had not intended to mislead anybody and added: "When people ring we let them know that it is an old letter. John has made wonderful progress since it was written. There is only one more visit to go and after that the fund-raising will be run down.

"We have got £3,000 towards the next trip in August or September and we only need another £2,000."

One of the newspaper cuttings sent out without a date was an emotive story of the Aspinall family home being burgled. The break-in happened in 1993.

Mr Taylforth said: "The newspaper cuttings do not have the dates on as there is only so much you can put on a sheet of A4 paper. We should have left the full page on.

"We didn't realise the letters were provoking that much concern. We put people right straight away when they ring up. We will update the letter and explain things. We haven't had time to do it up to now."

John is pictured with his mother, Evonne.

Two thoughts on this, one, they should get a grip on their admin.

But two, I suppose they don't neccesarily think of these things when their nipper is ill.