Oct 20 2005 By MARC McLEAN & STEF LACH, Lennox Herald
PERSISTENT con artists are being foiled by sharp-eyed Lennox readers.
Charity cheats, who have targeted Dumbarton and Alexandria recently, chanced their luck in Bonhill this week. Ambertop Ltd distributed flyers in New Bonhill appealing for donations of clothes to be sent to people in third world countries. However, it is believed the goods are sold on for profit.
The cheeky fraudsters also requested cosmetics, CDs, toiletries and perfumes be put into bags and left outside with their glossy flyer attached, pictured right.
With The Lennox exposing another dodgy firm, Arkbell Ltd, for a second time just weeks ago, the majority of householders saw through the scam. It is believed the same crooks are behind both companies.
Ladyton man David Winton warned his neighbours when he realised the striking similarity between the pair.
The 22-year-old said: “I got the leaflet through the door and, as soon as I saw it, I remembered the article from The Lennox a few weeks ago. I dug out the paper and compared the picture in the article to the flyer and it was so similar that it rang alarm bells.
“I took the leaflet and the article and showed them to my neighbours. The people I spoke to said they would not put bags out.”
The Lennox warned several residents in Bonhill who had been tricked by Ambertop into leaving unwanted items outside.
Ladyton resident Mrs Holloway had left two bags out.
The 65-year-old said: “I got their leaflet last Friday and had also received one about three weeks ago.
“I was getting my bedroom cleared out so I just put some of my old clothes in the bags, but I’ll take them down to the charity shop now.”
Another resident said: “You think you are doing your bit don’t you, then you find out you are being conned.”
Complaints have also been made about Ambertop Ltd distributing the same flyers in parts of east London.
Like the ones posted through doors in this area, the flyers do not state whether or not it is a charity and the phone number provided by the firm was unavailable.
If you have any doubts over such firms contact the Charity Commission’sm helpline on 0845 300 0218.
CON: The Ambertop flyer put through doors in this area.
DONATIONS: Some people were fooled into leaving bags of their goods outside.