North Shore Times : November 30th 2010
www.northshoretimes.co.nz Tuesday, November 30, 2010 You won't just feel better, you'll look better PERSONAL HEALTH AND FITNESS CENTRES CITY • DEVONPORT • TAKAPUNA • FORREST HILL • MILFORD Just Women Phone 0508JustWorkout www.justworkout.co.nz GROUP FITNESS MEMbERSHIPS ONLY $14.00 PER wEEK contact us for details Scammers hit home Invasion: Llew and Rayma Owen were targeted by bogus charity collectors. Photo: BEN WATSON WHAT TO WATCH FOR Scammers frequently play on emotions by collecting for natural disasters, sick children or homeless animals, the Commerce Commission says. The commission has a check list to protect yourself from charity scams: If you are contacted by a charity you have never heard of before do some research before saying yes to any appeal. If you are approached face-to-face by someone representing a charity, look for official identification. Even if they have ID, check for signs that the ID may be faked. Do not be pressured or intimidated or made to feel guilty. Genuine charities would regard such tactics as bad for their reputations. Ask for full details of the charity, such as name, address, phone number and charity registration details. Scammers can also set up lotteries and sell tickets promoting the idea that the proceeds will be going to charity. Visit www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/scams/scam-types/charity- scams for information. By MICHELLE ROBINSON A COUPLE is struggling to trust visitors after being scammed by two well- presented women posing as charity collectors. Llew Owen of Narrow Neck didn't think twice about allowing the young Poly- nesian women to use his bathroom after they approached him for a donation towards a tsunami relief fund in Samoa. The next day his wife Rayma noticed her pink and white purse, including cash for a fortnight's worth of housekeeping, was stolen. But she's most upset about the two sentimental photo- graphs and a keepsake that were inside. The two photos I can't replace. There's one of my dad and one of my son John.'' John died in 1990 and Mrs Owen always carried a photo ofhimandabadgeofhisin her purse. The Owens and police want to warn Belmont and Devonport residents about the scammers who have also targeted other homes in the area. These females have been going from door to door collecting, claiming to be from a church and wanting money for a sponsored walk,'' Taka- puna constable Rob Thow says. They have asked residents for a glass of water or to use the phone or toilet and have gone in to steal valuables, he says. They are described as well- spoken and neatly dressed with dark hair. But residents need to remember that charity collectors must carry ID, he says. Mr Owen says he didn't pay enough attention to the collectors because he wanted to get back to watching a favourite TV programme. He was watching it from the lounge doorway with his back to the bathroom and didn't notice anyone pick up the purse from his wife's open handbag nearby. Mrs Owen was also distracted by her young granddaughter who she was looking after. She realised early the next day and cancelled her bank cards before anything else was taken. It's terrible,'' she says. You wonder if they've got a conscience.'' Meanwhile a Rothesay Bay resident is warning others to be careful about what infor- mation they give over the phone after getting a hoax call asking for her contact details. Ann Wentzel says she was called by a man with an Asian accent who claimed to be from NZ Post. A subsequent call to NZ Post confirmed they don't seek contact information in this manner, she says. Anyone with information on scammers is encouraged to contact North Shore police on 477-5000 or to ring emerg- ency 111 to report suspicious activity.
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