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Scam callers rip off cancer kids

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 06:53 22/01/2014

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Marlborough people are being warned about foreign scammers using children with cancer to rip off New Zealanders.

The Child Cancer Foundation received reports that scam phone calls were being made from people claiming to be collecting money for the foundation.

Child Cancer Foundation Marlborough family support worker Trish Hildyard said the scammers were effectively stealing money from children with cancer.

"It's terrible," she said.

"It's taking money away from kids who are sick and who we're trying to help."

It was hard enough to get money legitimately, she said.

She hadn't heard of anyone in Marlborough being called by the scammers but said the Marlborough Child Cancer Foundation branch did not call houses asking for money.

The scam caller is reported to have a foreign accent and to be calling from somewhere where other voices can be heard in the background.

The Child Cancer Foundation does not use foreign call centres in its fundraising work.

Foundation acting chief executive Simon Lala said it was disappointing anyone would take advantage of children in their time of greatest need.

"That anyone could action such a scam for personal financial gain is baffling," he said.

"Such actions are a sad indictment on some individual."

Police warn anyone who is called by someone claiming to be collecting for the Child Cancer Foundation to report it on the website Scamwatch at consumeraffairs.govt.nz/scams.

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- The Marlborough Express

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