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Hundreds potentially scammed by fake deaf charity fundraisers

Newshub logoNewshub 12/01/2019 Laura Tupou

Hundreds may have been scammed by people allegedly masquerading as deaf charity fundraisers.

Deaf Action New Zealand has made a call to stop the people from handing out cards in exchange for cash. It believed one person was in Auckland and one in Wellington.

Auckland man Daniel Costa felt sorry for the woman who tapped him on the shoulder in a shop at Westfield Manukau yesterday.

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"So I read the card, I just saw a bit of it, a glimpse of it, - $5 deaf and stuff - so I took out my wallet and gave her 40 bucks," he said.

The same woman who duped him tricked Shontell Hepi at a Domino's pizza shop in Otahuhu.

"She kind of just handed me a card and that was it," she said.

"I thought it was a little bit weird but I just kind of gave her her $5 and let her carry on with her day."

But Wellington man Cameron Ross called her bluff.

"I went up to her and said, 'I'm deaf, are you deaf?' and she knew I'd caught her out," he told Newshub.

"I said, 'What is this? This is not okay, this is unacceptable.' She walked off immediately."

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Deaf Action New Zealand said these people were not linked to any legitimate deaf organisation or charity.

"It's really potentially damaging for the deaf community's own fundraising initiatives," Mr Ross said.

Mr Costa said he would be thinking twice next time he was approached for so-called charity money.

"It will be hard for me to trust to give them anything, any kind of sympathy really," he said.

"It's really bad what she's doing."

It has been reported to the police, who are currently assessing the case.

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