Don’t be fooled by child used in scam: Sponsorship fraud in Benfleet

Don’t be fooled by child used in scam

Don’t be fooled by child used in scam

First published in Echo News by

A WOMAN is warning people of a scam in which a man used a five-year-old boy to cheat cash out of unsuspecting neighbours.

Karen Robinson, of Essex Way, Benfleet, was appalled when she discovered a charity donation to a young boy doing a sponsored walk was a rip-off.

Aman, in his thirties, appeared at her door with a five-year-old boy who he said was his son. He said they were from Basildon and the boy was taking part in a sponsored walk with school friends for animal charity PDSA.

Mrs Robinson, 48, said: “The man explained the children were walking 5k and that last year it was rained off, so the boy was really looking forward to it. I filled my details in on the formhe had and handed over £5.

“The little boy put a tick in the box to indicate I had paid in advance. I could see my neighbours had done the same. Half an hour later as I drove down my road I saw the man with a group of people including two policemen and a squad car.

“I was shocked, more because of the children involved. There was another couple with an older girl covering the opposite side of the road.

“How do these people sleep at night?”

Mrs Robinson said she had heard from neighbours that residents in Vicarage Hill had also been targeted.

She added: “I would advise people not to trust anyone. It’s sad, but just how it is now.”

Nadia El Hatimi, PCSO for the area, said: “The police were called. We found two men, a young boy, and a woman with a pushchair and child. We had our suspicions and they are known to the police. We seized the money from them and an officer is now dealing with the incident.

“The money will be donated to the PDSA as residents thought that was where the cash was originally going.”

A spokesman for the PDSA said: “Any charity would advise residents to always ask for some form of identification if someone says they are collecting on behalf of a charity.”

Police suggest residents ask for identification when people turn up at their door, consider installing a door chain and using it until they see identification.

Comments (25)

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3:47pm Thu 22 May 14

poortaxpayer says...

Romanians.
Romanians. poortaxpayer
  • Score: 31

4:05pm Thu 22 May 14

steady_bloke says...

Couple of weeks ago, I had a young man knock on my door collecting for people with 'depression'. His sponsor form was a hand-written piece of A4 lined paper!

I bet the Romanians had it all done proper.
Couple of weeks ago, I had a young man knock on my door collecting for people with 'depression'. His sponsor form was a hand-written piece of A4 lined paper! I bet the Romanians had it all done proper. steady_bloke
  • Score: 30

4:14pm Thu 22 May 14

danger2013 says...

No harm done in this instance, the money went to the charity it was supposed to be going too.
No harm done in this instance, the money went to the charity it was supposed to be going too. danger2013
  • Score: -35

4:25pm Thu 22 May 14

OBL says...

Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.
Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were. OBL
  • Score: -9

4:33pm Thu 22 May 14

John Bull 40 says...

OBL wrote:
Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.
You have lived a very sheltered life.
[quote][p][bold]OBL[/bold] wrote: Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.[/p][/quote]You have lived a very sheltered life. John Bull 40
  • Score: 14

4:45pm Thu 22 May 14

LexyGirl says...

oh what a terrible thing to do because now it's going to put people off from sponsoring real good causes ;((
oh what a terrible thing to do because now it's going to put people off from sponsoring real good causes ;(( LexyGirl
  • Score: 30

4:59pm Thu 22 May 14

sesibollox says...

£5 quid, I give that as a tip to the cabbie, get a life.
£5 quid, I give that as a tip to the cabbie, get a life. sesibollox
  • Score: -48

5:19pm Thu 22 May 14

Royr says...

John Bull 40 wrote:
OBL wrote:
Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.
You have lived a very sheltered life.
Both you and poortaxpayer are absolute twits!
Low life scum come in all shapes, sizes and ethnic origin.
I have been the potential victim twice.
The first attempt was by a slim young guy (mid 20s) with a pronounced Irish accent. He wanted a cash deposit to hire an underground CCTV camera to check for a gas leak - this fell down, since I don't have gas!

The second time - about six months later - was a middle aged (mid 40s) bulky guy with an East London/Essex accent asking to check the drains. This fell down when his mate knocked on the door. His mate was the aforementioned young guy with the Irish accent!
Oh how I laughed!!

By the way - neither were Romanians
[quote][p][bold]John Bull 40[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OBL[/bold] wrote: Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.[/p][/quote]You have lived a very sheltered life.[/p][/quote]Both you and poortaxpayer are absolute twits! Low life scum come in all shapes, sizes and ethnic origin. I have been the potential victim twice. The first attempt was by a slim young guy (mid 20s) with a pronounced Irish accent. He wanted a cash deposit to hire an underground CCTV camera to check for a gas leak - this fell down, since I don't have gas! The second time - about six months later - was a middle aged (mid 40s) bulky guy with an East London/Essex accent asking to check the drains. This fell down when his mate knocked on the door. His mate was the aforementioned young guy with the Irish accent! Oh how I laughed!! By the way - neither were Romanians Royr
  • Score: 32

5:33pm Thu 22 May 14

Living the La Vida Legra says...

I work with Romainians and they are great people to be with
I work with Romainians and they are great people to be with Living the La Vida Legra
  • Score: 8

6:08pm Thu 22 May 14

A_Myers says...

When I was about 10 years old in 1996, me and my best friend pulled this exact scam! (I was a Cub Scout, and knew how easy it was to extract money from people this way).

We spent all morning on my Windows 95 PC designing a realistic sponsorship form and knocked on every door down the next five streets.

After a couple of hours we had almost £60.

We then hung outside an off-licence and asked a man to buy us a pack of cigarettes, then bought fish and chips and a 2l bottle of coke and climbed on top of Roots Hall (one of our secret hiding places) where we ate, drank and smoked in the evening sun.

Nobody ever found out.
When I was about 10 years old in 1996, me and my best friend pulled this exact scam! (I was a Cub Scout, and knew how easy it was to extract money from people this way). We spent all morning on my Windows 95 PC designing a realistic sponsorship form and knocked on every door down the next five streets. After a couple of hours we had almost £60. We then hung outside an off-licence and asked a man to buy us a pack of cigarettes, then bought fish and chips and a 2l bottle of coke and climbed on top of Roots Hall (one of our secret hiding places) where we ate, drank and smoked in the evening sun. Nobody ever found out. A_Myers
  • Score: -6

6:35pm Thu 22 May 14

sesibollox says...

Bit like that Bank that offers a little Xtra help in the ads, yet is really ripping people off, another using clever tactics to obtain money...
Bit like that Bank that offers a little Xtra help in the ads, yet is really ripping people off, another using clever tactics to obtain money... sesibollox
  • Score: 5

6:52pm Thu 22 May 14

ThisYear says...

John Bull 40 wrote:
OBL wrote:
Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.
You have lived a very sheltered life.
Because they rightly point out there was no mention of the nationality of the people involved or indeed if this was an actual scam...The police haven't said it was..
[quote][p][bold]John Bull 40[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OBL[/bold] wrote: Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.[/p][/quote]You have lived a very sheltered life.[/p][/quote]Because they rightly point out there was no mention of the nationality of the people involved or indeed if this was an actual scam...The police haven't said it was.. ThisYear
  • Score: 1

7:16pm Thu 22 May 14

supermadmax says...

A_Myers wrote:
When I was about 10 years old in 1996, me and my best friend pulled this exact scam! (I was a Cub Scout, and knew how easy it was to extract money from people this way).

We spent all morning on my Windows 95 PC designing a realistic sponsorship form and knocked on every door down the next five streets.

After a couple of hours we had almost £60.

We then hung outside an off-licence and asked a man to buy us a pack of cigarettes, then bought fish and chips and a 2l bottle of coke and climbed on top of Roots Hall (one of our secret hiding places) where we ate, drank and smoked in the evening sun.

Nobody ever found out.
Don't be so cocky the Echo will probably pass your IP address to the old bill Mr Myers, they even know your approximate age, that you were a scout & god forbid you signed up in your real name! It will be a trip to the magistrate for you and they take a very dim view of fraud!
[quote][p][bold]A_Myers[/bold] wrote: When I was about 10 years old in 1996, me and my best friend pulled this exact scam! (I was a Cub Scout, and knew how easy it was to extract money from people this way). We spent all morning on my Windows 95 PC designing a realistic sponsorship form and knocked on every door down the next five streets. After a couple of hours we had almost £60. We then hung outside an off-licence and asked a man to buy us a pack of cigarettes, then bought fish and chips and a 2l bottle of coke and climbed on top of Roots Hall (one of our secret hiding places) where we ate, drank and smoked in the evening sun. Nobody ever found out.[/p][/quote]Don't be so cocky the Echo will probably pass your IP address to the old bill Mr Myers, they even know your approximate age, that you were a scout & god forbid you signed up in your real name! It will be a trip to the magistrate for you and they take a very dim view of fraud! supermadmax
  • Score: 10

10:27pm Thu 22 May 14

Mattster says...

ThisYear wrote:
John Bull 40 wrote:
OBL wrote:
Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.
You have lived a very sheltered life.
Because they rightly point out there was no mention of the nationality of the people involved or indeed if this was an actual scam...The police haven't said it was..
As the offenders were 'known' to the police and there is no 5k walk other than the Cancer Research Walk for life in the area its a safe bet it was a scam. I struggle to understand why you can't accept that some people are just thieving scumbags.

I agree that there is nothing in the story that suggests the nationality of the offenders.
[quote][p][bold]ThisYear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Bull 40[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OBL[/bold] wrote: Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.[/p][/quote]You have lived a very sheltered life.[/p][/quote]Because they rightly point out there was no mention of the nationality of the people involved or indeed if this was an actual scam...The police haven't said it was..[/p][/quote]As the offenders were 'known' to the police and there is no 5k walk other than the Cancer Research Walk for life in the area its a safe bet it was a scam. I struggle to understand why you can't accept that some people are just thieving scumbags. I agree that there is nothing in the story that suggests the nationality of the offenders. Mattster
  • Score: 5

7:21am Fri 23 May 14

Bigmama1 says...

I can't believe that people actually hand over money at their front door to anybody at all. I don't give anything to door callers. When I want to give to charity it is by a written cheque sent direct to the charity. Which I'm pleased to do. These scum who knock on doors are just scammers and con artists. Be warned, you will be seeing more of these tricks with all the immigrants we have descending into this area.
I can't believe that people actually hand over money at their front door to anybody at all. I don't give anything to door callers. When I want to give to charity it is by a written cheque sent direct to the charity. Which I'm pleased to do. These scum who knock on doors are just scammers and con artists. Be warned, you will be seeing more of these tricks with all the immigrants we have descending into this area. Bigmama1
  • Score: 5

7:49am Fri 23 May 14

caroljb says...

Unfortunately I was one of the Benfleet residents conned by this man. He was English, with a local accent. His little boy told me they live in Basildon and the dad said they were collecting in Benfleet as they had relatives in castlepoint.

Sorry to disappoint you all - they were certaintly not Romanian, or any other nationality. They were local Essex people.
Unfortunately I was one of the Benfleet residents conned by this man. He was English, with a local accent. His little boy told me they live in Basildon and the dad said they were collecting in Benfleet as they had relatives in castlepoint. Sorry to disappoint you all - they were certaintly not Romanian, or any other nationality. They were local Essex people. caroljb
  • Score: 13

7:56am Fri 23 May 14

A_Myers says...

supermadmax wrote:
A_Myers wrote:
When I was about 10 years old in 1996, me and my best friend pulled this exact scam! (I was a Cub Scout, and knew how easy it was to extract money from people this way).

We spent all morning on my Windows 95 PC designing a realistic sponsorship form and knocked on every door down the next five streets.

After a couple of hours we had almost £60.

We then hung outside an off-licence and asked a man to buy us a pack of cigarettes, then bought fish and chips and a 2l bottle of coke and climbed on top of Roots Hall (one of our secret hiding places) where we ate, drank and smoked in the evening sun.

Nobody ever found out.
Don't be so cocky the Echo will probably pass your IP address to the old bill Mr Myers, they even know your approximate age, that you were a scout & god forbid you signed up in your real name! It will be a trip to the magistrate for you and they take a very dim view of fraud!
My story was merely a whimsical tale of creative adolescent mischief, rather than a cocky admission of serious fraud.

More 'Just William' than 'Porridge'.
[quote][p][bold]supermadmax[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A_Myers[/bold] wrote: When I was about 10 years old in 1996, me and my best friend pulled this exact scam! (I was a Cub Scout, and knew how easy it was to extract money from people this way). We spent all morning on my Windows 95 PC designing a realistic sponsorship form and knocked on every door down the next five streets. After a couple of hours we had almost £60. We then hung outside an off-licence and asked a man to buy us a pack of cigarettes, then bought fish and chips and a 2l bottle of coke and climbed on top of Roots Hall (one of our secret hiding places) where we ate, drank and smoked in the evening sun. Nobody ever found out.[/p][/quote]Don't be so cocky the Echo will probably pass your IP address to the old bill Mr Myers, they even know your approximate age, that you were a scout & god forbid you signed up in your real name! It will be a trip to the magistrate for you and they take a very dim view of fraud![/p][/quote]My story was merely a whimsical tale of creative adolescent mischief, rather than a cocky admission of serious fraud. More 'Just William' than 'Porridge'. A_Myers
  • Score: 5

9:00am Fri 23 May 14

Letmetryagain says...

In the story, it says the man's name was Aman, not a very English name ?
In the story, it says the man's name was Aman, not a very English name ? Letmetryagain
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Fri 23 May 14

Mattster says...

Letmetryagain wrote:
In the story, it says the man's name was Aman, not a very English name ?
Please tell me thats an amusing observation of the Echo's usual lack of proof reading and not a serious comment?
[quote][p][bold]Letmetryagain[/bold] wrote: In the story, it says the man's name was Aman, not a very English name ?[/p][/quote]Please tell me thats an amusing observation of the Echo's usual lack of proof reading and not a serious comment? Mattster
  • Score: 2

3:38pm Fri 23 May 14

MilesBond says...

Mattster wrote:
Letmetryagain wrote:
In the story, it says the man's name was Aman, not a very English name ?
Please tell me thats an amusing observation of the Echo's usual lack of proof reading and not a serious comment?
hahaha "Aman, in his thirties, appeared at her door"

I like it :)
[quote][p][bold]Mattster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Letmetryagain[/bold] wrote: In the story, it says the man's name was Aman, not a very English name ?[/p][/quote]Please tell me thats an amusing observation of the Echo's usual lack of proof reading and not a serious comment?[/p][/quote]hahaha "Aman, in his thirties, appeared at her door" I like it :) MilesBond
  • Score: 2

4:36pm Fri 23 May 14

supermadmax says...

A_Myers wrote:
supermadmax wrote:
A_Myers wrote:
When I was about 10 years old in 1996, me and my best friend pulled this exact scam! (I was a Cub Scout, and knew how easy it was to extract money from people this way).

We spent all morning on my Windows 95 PC designing a realistic sponsorship form and knocked on every door down the next five streets.

After a couple of hours we had almost £60.

We then hung outside an off-licence and asked a man to buy us a pack of cigarettes, then bought fish and chips and a 2l bottle of coke and climbed on top of Roots Hall (one of our secret hiding places) where we ate, drank and smoked in the evening sun.

Nobody ever found out.
Don't be so cocky the Echo will probably pass your IP address to the old bill Mr Myers, they even know your approximate age, that you were a scout & god forbid you signed up in your real name! It will be a trip to the magistrate for you and they take a very dim view of fraud!
My story was merely a whimsical tale of creative adolescent mischief, rather than a cocky admission of serious fraud.

More 'Just William' than 'Porridge'.
Tell it to the court my friend !!
[quote][p][bold]A_Myers[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]supermadmax[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A_Myers[/bold] wrote: When I was about 10 years old in 1996, me and my best friend pulled this exact scam! (I was a Cub Scout, and knew how easy it was to extract money from people this way). We spent all morning on my Windows 95 PC designing a realistic sponsorship form and knocked on every door down the next five streets. After a couple of hours we had almost £60. We then hung outside an off-licence and asked a man to buy us a pack of cigarettes, then bought fish and chips and a 2l bottle of coke and climbed on top of Roots Hall (one of our secret hiding places) where we ate, drank and smoked in the evening sun. Nobody ever found out.[/p][/quote]Don't be so cocky the Echo will probably pass your IP address to the old bill Mr Myers, they even know your approximate age, that you were a scout & god forbid you signed up in your real name! It will be a trip to the magistrate for you and they take a very dim view of fraud![/p][/quote]My story was merely a whimsical tale of creative adolescent mischief, rather than a cocky admission of serious fraud. More 'Just William' than 'Porridge'.[/p][/quote]Tell it to the court my friend !! supermadmax
  • Score: 3

1:41am Sat 24 May 14

ThisYear says...

Mattster wrote:
ThisYear wrote:
John Bull 40 wrote:
OBL wrote:
Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.
You have lived a very sheltered life.
Because they rightly point out there was no mention of the nationality of the people involved or indeed if this was an actual scam...The police haven't said it was..
As the offenders were 'known' to the police and there is no 5k walk other than the Cancer Research Walk for life in the area its a safe bet it was a scam. I struggle to understand why you can't accept that some people are just thieving scumbags.

I agree that there is nothing in the story that suggests the nationality of the offenders.
I do not struggle to believe or understand that there are criminal scumbags out there, be they thieves or otherwise..I've seen a lot of criminal posting on these threads over the last few years...so in the words of the Monkees 'Im a believer'
[quote][p][bold]Mattster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ThisYear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Bull 40[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OBL[/bold] wrote: Why jumping to the conclusion they were Romanians? I don't think there was anything in the story to suggest they were.[/p][/quote]You have lived a very sheltered life.[/p][/quote]Because they rightly point out there was no mention of the nationality of the people involved or indeed if this was an actual scam...The police haven't said it was..[/p][/quote]As the offenders were 'known' to the police and there is no 5k walk other than the Cancer Research Walk for life in the area its a safe bet it was a scam. I struggle to understand why you can't accept that some people are just thieving scumbags. I agree that there is nothing in the story that suggests the nationality of the offenders.[/p][/quote]I do not struggle to believe or understand that there are criminal scumbags out there, be they thieves or otherwise..I've seen a lot of criminal posting on these threads over the last few years...so in the words of the Monkees 'Im a believer' ThisYear
  • Score: 1

1:43am Sat 24 May 14

ThisYear says...

poortaxpayer wrote:
Romanians.
Apparently not..Any comment?
[quote][p][bold]poortaxpayer[/bold] wrote: Romanians.[/p][/quote]Apparently not..Any comment? ThisYear
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Wed 28 May 14

loulougirl says...

and what has a name to do with nationality?
why can't an english person be calle Aman if they want to?
there are no lsaw againgts choosing exotic names for your children, you know.
My (very british and white) nieces are called Soraya and Leila, as the parents liked the exotic names. And none of them have conexions with Persia,
We can choose now, fortunately,
and what has a name to do with nationality? why can't an english person be calle Aman if they want to? there are no lsaw againgts choosing exotic names for your children, you know. My (very british and white) nieces are called Soraya and Leila, as the parents liked the exotic names. And none of them have conexions with Persia, We can choose now, fortunately, loulougirl
  • Score: 0

3:24pm Thu 12 Jun 14

Furor Teutonicus says...

caroljb wrote:
Unfortunately I was one of the Benfleet residents conned by this man. He was English, with a local accent. His little boy told me they live in Basildon and the dad said they were collecting in Benfleet as they had relatives in castlepoint.

Sorry to disappoint you all - they were certaintly not Romanian, or any other nationality. They were local Essex people.
XX
Sorry to disappoint you all - they were certaintly not Romanian, or any other nationality. They were local Essex people.XX

Sorry, maybe I have misunderstood, but do people in Essex not have a nationality then?
[quote][p][bold]caroljb[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately I was one of the Benfleet residents conned by this man. He was English, with a local accent. His little boy told me they live in Basildon and the dad said they were collecting in Benfleet as they had relatives in castlepoint. Sorry to disappoint you all - they were certaintly not Romanian, or any other nationality. They were local Essex people.[/p][/quote]XX Sorry to disappoint you all - they were certaintly not Romanian, or any other nationality. They were local Essex people.XX Sorry, maybe I have misunderstood, but do people in Essex not have a nationality then? Furor Teutonicus
  • Score: 0

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