The Galway Rape Crisis Centre is urging the public to be more vigilant and wary after reports of a suspicious individual who is carrying out bogus door-to-door collections in housing estates around the city.
The GRCC issued the warning this week after it became aware a man was using sponsorship cards and going door to door.
The public are advised that the GRCC has never authorised door-to-door collections and this person is not an authorised collector, but instead obtained the cards under false pretences.
Speaking to the Advertiser, GRCC executive director, Helen Mortimer, explained that a man approached the GRCC fundraising officer claiming to be a student and that he needed sponsorship cards for a planned Croagh Patrick climb. The man’s mobile, name, and online profile all checked out to be legitimate and there had been no reason to doubt him. However he later contacted the fundraising officer to say the climb had been cancelled and that he would return the sponsorship card.
“Only a few of the cards were brought back. We got calls from people saying that door-to-door collections were taking place in housing estates in aid of GRCC. We never do that, we have very legitimate fundraising events,” said Ms Mortimer, who further explained that the fundraising officer contacted the man about this and later made several efforts again to make contact but had been unable to do so in the past three to four days. It was at this point that GRCC decided to contact the Gardai and inform the public.
Ms Mortimer further warned that the man is still carrying out door-to-door collections and has received money from the public although the amount is unknown. It is understood that the man is moving around to different areas claiming to be raising money for another charity and has approached charities in the same fraudulent manner. It has also been reported that the same person has held fraudulant collections outside a number of city centre shopping centres.
Acknowledging that this person’s actions affects other legitimate collections, Ms Mortimer is urging the public to be more wary and if a person seems suspicious to ask for proper ID, make contact with the charity, or phone the gardai. Anyone with concerns can contact GRCC on 091 564800 or ring the Gardaí at Millstreet.