Sunderland litter pickers rumble suspected charity scammers after uncovering haul of 200 bags

Scammers pretending to be from a charity helping sick and disabled children may have been rumbled by a litter pick in Sunderland.

Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 10:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th June 2019, 3:48 pm
One of the bags found

More than 200 collection bags apparently from Dreams Come True were found during the clean-up of footpaths around Herrington and Doxford Park.

The discovery prompted organiser and newly-elected councillor Dominic McDonough, to contact the organisation to ask bosses to investigate.

The charity insisted all collections had been stopped more than three years ago and the bags appeared to be part of an attempted fraud.

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Dominic McDonough

In a statement, the charity said: “

“We are saddened that there are individuals who are disguising themselves as part of the charity as their actions not only impact our ability to help our beneficiaries, but also litter local communities.”

In a message posted on its website which provides holidays and medical equipment for “children and young people with serious and life-limiting medical conditions”, added it had an reported alleged scam to City of London Police’s Action Fraud team and appealed for the public’s “assistance in catching the individuals involved in this fraud”.

Coun McDonough, who represents the St Chad’s ward for the Conservative Party, said he felt “sick” at the attempt to “hijack” fund-raising.

“Dreams Come True works with sick and disabled children and those people who are using the charities good name for criminal gain should hang their heads in shame,” he said.

“I just want to ensure that no residents are taken in by this scam and I hope that if we all work together we can catch the criminals responsible.”