Barlestone has become the latest in a long line of towns, villages and cities to be plagued by a fake Air Ambulance charity collection scam.
The scam works by tricking householders into thinking that the collection service is from their local Air Ambulance, but in actual fact is from a private company who are looking to collect free items of clothing for their own commercial gain, by using the Air Ambulance Name.
Upon closer inspection is is clear that the ‘Air Ambulance Service’ is not quite as it seems.
- No Registered Charity Number is given (this is because the fliers come from a commercial company).
- No official Air Ambulance logos
- No official Air Ambulance website address (the website address given does not work)
At the bottom of the flyer is a small disclaimer written in tiny text, which reads:
“Air Ambulance Service’ are (sp) a free membership organisation open to all UK residents. We are working towards providing assistance to cover or reduce the cost of ground and air ambulance medical transportation for patients caught in difficult medical circumstances (having an unfortunate accident or illness in another city or country). We are a free information provider and referral service. All ground and medical transports are chartered, co-ordinated and carried out by a network of licenced operators so as to ensure the compassionate care, sdafety and comfort of the patients”.
However it then goes on to say:
“The photo’s air ambulance (sp) vehicles are for display purposes only and may not be used as part of the services. Air Ambulance Service is not associated with any local helicopter emergency services. Air Ambulance Service is a free membership organisation, open to all UK residents. Terms and Conditions apply”.
Official Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance
This scam is in no way affilliated with Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, who provide their own legitimate collection service on a regular basis to the village. An example of which is shown below.
Support of the DLRAA can only be encouraged, however villagers should always check the validity of anything which is delivered door-to-door, and be sceptical of anything whcih does not seem legitimate.
Anyone suspecting the legitimacy of a charity collection service should check with the charity in question of it’s validity before sending any items or donations.