Residents warned after bogus UNICEF cold callers “harass” pensioners

RESIDENTS across Essex are being warned about bogus charity callers claiming to be from UNICEF after two elderly homeowners in Saffron Walden were “harassed” on the telephone.

The police advice comes after the two pensioners were recipients of unsolicited calls from people claiming to be from the global children’s charity. The callers, who had eastern European accents, wanted a donation of £12, but reduced this to £3 when one stated that she could not afford it.

The caller persisted, even attempting to obtain her bank details but she constantly refused. They even accused her of not caring about starving children across the world.

Uttlesford’s crime reduction advisor, Peter Caulfield, said: “As ever, people should never entertain cold sales calls of any nature and certainly not give out any personal information such as banking details over the telephone. If anyone does wish to support a charity, then they should make a decision on which to support and deal with them proactively and directly.”

A UNICEF spokesman said: “At times, we may telephone people to ask for support but these are from a contracted professional telemarketing agency. However, they will clearly state this as well as highlighting that they are receiving a small hourly wage for their time.

Anyone who wishes to verify a UNICEF volunteer or professional caller can contact the charity’s supporter care team on 0844 801 2414 or e-mail