Charity warns of rogue door-to-door scammers

A rogue group in Donegal have reportedly been collecting in the name of the Irish Deaf Society

A rogue gang posing as charity collectors has reportedly been using false identification cards in Co Donegal for the Irish Deaf Society.

Speaking on High Noon, fundraising manager at the charity Janette Burn said they've been dealing with the issue for as long as she can remember.

"The deaf community are very vulnerable in this particular scam, in the fact that they can't speak and they can't hear," she said. "It's been going on years - it's been a huge frustration because we're being denied much needed funds."

She explained that rogue collectors create a level of distrust from the public and legitimate charities, and stressed that the Irish Deaf Society never collect door-to-door.

Goodwill 'destroyed'

Recent scandals involving charities such as Console over mishandling of finances have also impacted on smaller charities like the Irish Deaf Society.

"The charity sector is going through a horrendous time - the bad behaviour and corruption of certain charities has destroyed a lot of the goodwill towards the public," she continued.

"You have to take it at face value"

Ex-collector Peter Sears added that it cannot be underestimated how difficult a job collecting door-to-door is.

"It takes a certain kind of person to feel confident and go up to someone's door and essentially ask for money," he said.

"On average, you're calling to 500 doors a week. Of those, I'd say 10 of them are friendly. The other 490 would wave you away, pass you off [...] And that's just something that you have to take at face value."

Sears said a minority of people were skeptical about his sincerity as a collector, but concluded that the key thing to remember is maintaining a positive attitude.