10:46AM, Thursday 07 April 2016
Fraudsters have been scamming people out of money and using ‘sexist and misogynistic’ language to shoppers in Windsor town centre.
Two men, operating with a pedlar’s licence issued by police, have been falsely collecting money under the guise of charity The Happiness Foundation.
On Saturday, March 5, a 64-year-old woman was heckled by the men in Peascod Street, opposite the Post Office.
Her daughter, who did not wish to be named, told the Express: “I was on the phone to my mum at the time. I could hear them calling her and laughing at her. My mum said ‘please doesn’t talk to me like that’.
"As soon as she said that they stepped it up and started laughing at her. They were being very sarcastic and they were commenting on her appearance. It felt very sexist and misogynistic.”
The men were selling raffle tickets, which they said was to raise money for mobility scooters.
The incident was reported to Thames Valley Police claiming the men had made ‘inappropriate comments to a woman’.
A police spokeswoman said: “Police attended and located the men concerned. Police confirmed that the men had a pedlar’s licence and words of advice were given.”
Kath Temple, who runs The Happiness Foundation, said she was ‘sad’ to hear people had been collecting falsely under the organisation’s name.
The charity said it reported the men to the police, who told them to take the matter to Action Fraud.
The small, non-profit organisation, based in Lowestoft, Suffolk, does not employ any charity collectors.
It provides support for people to overcome anxiety, depression, trauma and abuse through group and one-on-one sessions.
Kath was first informed that people were using the charity’s name fraudulently in 2011 and says it has also happened in Islington, Staffordshire, Wells, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Tunbridge Wells and Reading.
She added: “We are a small organisation. I wish we could have charity collectors but we are just too small.
“Not only are they scamming people, they are often quite unpleasant to people.
“They seem to be selling these raffle tickets and if they sell 10 that’s £50 they have made. It is frustrating when you are doing work that is decent and good. I find it really sad.”
A pedlar’s licence is issued by police and qualifies the licence holder to trade on foot.
They are issued by the police in the area someone has lived for one month and costs just £12.25 for a year.
TVP could not confirm which force had issued the licence to the fraudsters in Peascod Street.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.