BOGUS charity collectors have been operating in Southend under the guise of working with a local housing association.

Residents of council-owned properties have reported that they have been contacted by telephone over recent months by the scammers.

They claim to be calling on behalf of South Essex Homes’ contractors and stating that they are collecting money for charities.

Thankfully, the residents who received the calls were not duped into making a payment.

Anita McGinley, who works for South Essex Homes and manages the Southend Multi-Agency Anti-Social Behaviour Response Team (SMAART), said: “We would like all Southend residents to be aware that staff of South Essex Homes or any of its contractors will never ‘cold call’ residents to collect money for charity.

"Therefore any calls from someone claiming to be doing just that should be treated as fraudulent. Please do not pay any money to these people but instead make a note of any information they give you, including any names and contact details, and report it.”

These incidents have been reported to Essex Police - who have asked for any other residents, who believe they have also been contacted by these fraudsters, to report it to ‘Action Fraud’ on 0300 123 2040 or online at

But if a crime is in progress or if you are in danger, always call 999.