By Sean Dilley & James Melley in BBC News.
Some 800 cases of charity fraud were reported in the UK last year. But with police warning that they represent just a fraction of the number actually taking place, is enough being done to deal with the scammers?
Within hours of the Grenfell Tower fire, members of the public were looking for ways to help the victims and donate money. Unfortunately, the scammers were ready to dupe them and pocket their cash.
But the authorities were watching for any new websites set up with a link to the disaster, especially anything claiming to be a charity collection site.
On the first day of monitoring they found a scam website. As soon as money was deposited into the founder’s bank account, the money was withdrawn in cash, which police described as “very suspicious” behaviour. The site was shut down and the bank account blocked.
Ch Insp Andy Fyfe from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau at City of London Police, which handles fraud cases from around the UK, said there were similar incidents following the Manchester bombing.
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