WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward
While out doing the shopping thing recently I noted something that is now a common place thing these days in the ‘Meet & Relieve’ (of cash) group of people who work for well known charities of which most work on an industrial scale mainly because charity is now a multi pound industry.
The ploy is thus: somebody with a tablet, the electronic version and not something you take with water, and wearing a brightly coloured badge and logo’ed tee shirt with said charity’s name on approaches a passing shopper, worker whatever and introduces themselves and from there on its case of setting out the aims of the charity with selected images on the afore menched tablet and the humble passing person’s part – financial - in the great swing of things.
Seeing somebody talking to a perfect stranger and within minutes of the all smiling one extolling the virtues of ‘giving’ to the almighty cause in hand and then signing them up to x amount per month is the usual one and supplying their bank details to this tee shirt, badge wearing person of whom they have no knowledge of who they could be is breathtaking and assorted retired (hope-fully) bank robbers must be asking themselves on these sort of occasions why they ever bothered with the masks, menacing weaponry, bags marked ‘Swag’ and a getaway car with the engine running at the bank front door when its possible to actually take money from people with just a smile and bung them a leaflet as they stalk another punter, sorry, donor.
This may seem harsh but in this day and age its rammed down our throats the importance of data protection and identity fraud but having witnessed staggering bits of mindless interplay of somebody giving their personal details as in name, address, blood group/ whatever and Joy of Great Joys, their personal bank details in the hope of saving the rare and the slowly depleting Up River Left Footed Beaver that hangs out in down town Peru without so much as ‘Hang on ‘ere – who are you exactly?’ never coming into play as far as I could hear.
Wandering off with a leaflet afterwards is not proof of who are these people as leaflets can be printed off on computers nowadays and you can call yourself Prince or Princess (if undecided or waiting for your test results to come back) Getawayo from Wherever so a supposed charity is small fry.
I am not suggesting that all such bodies are the same but what I see as alarming is people signing up on the spot but had set out with no intentions of so doing beforehand, and giving their personal details to total strangers whose only aim is there to do that very thing.
If you must sign up to these ‘schemes’ might I suggest you take the form or leaflet/ brochure home to think it over without any undue pressure as you have to consider this ‘friend of the cause’ is being paid to get you to do so on the spot and has probably travelled quite a distance to be with you to entice you to do so and perhaps had to get a map out to find this area to begin with on his/her crusade to get the cash rolling in.