Leaflets deceive Birmingham homes

August 5, 2010 by  

Print companies in South Birmingham may have inadvertently been involved in a private company’s fraudulent leafleting campaign to collect clothing donations under the pretence of being a charity. The Midlands Air Ambulance, which is a registered charity, said it has been aware over the past few weeks of a private company calling itself ‘Air Ambulance Service’ delivering leaflets to homes in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, asking forclothing donations. The suggestion is that proceeds from the clothing donations would therefore go to an ‘Air Ambulance Service’ but the understanding of the Midlands Air Ambulance Service is that the company distributing the leaflets has no association with any air ambulance service in the area or the country and that people who had concerns about any leaflets they received should ring trading standards office at the council.

The leaflets distributed stated a telephone number for respondents to ring for membership services but actually they were connected to a premium rate phone number. The leaflets are worded so as not to actually mention where the money from the clothing donations would go to and so they have deceived homes in the area who have donated generously.

Midlands Air Ambulance has three helicopters to take people to hospital and receives no funding at all from the government. Clothing donations often provide the charity with around £200,000 to £300,000 revenue annually but as a result of the fake leafleting scandal, they were looking at other fundraising events this year in order to make up for the loss of earnings.