AN elderly woman is warning residents to be on their guard against charity scams after she was visited by a man claiming to be raising money for people with depression.

Iris Cook, 81, of Grasmead Avenue, Leigh, said a man called at the house saying he was raising money for a sponsored walk in aid of a depression charity, which he did not name, asking for cash up front from people interested in supporting him.

She said the man, described as bald and in his 40s, was carrying ordinary note paper with no logos or printing on them and a plastic bag. He did not have any identification on him.

Mrs Cook did not give him any money, though he returned about an hour later asking for cash.

Mrs Cook said: “When I looked at his paper, he had quite a few names on it, mostly with donations of about £4 or £5. I just want to make sure no-one else is caught out by this because it didn’t seem right.”

An Essex Police spokesman advised residents to always ask for identification from anyone purporting to be from a charity and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police on 101.