RSPCA shop loses more than £1,000 after 'slamming scam'

Charity shops in mid-Norfolk are reporting a tidal wave of donations since reopening their doors, wi

RSPCA in Wymondham. - Credit: Kathryn Cross

A Norfolk animal charity has lost more than £1,000 after it was the victim of a scam.

The Wymondham RSPCA charity shop on Church Street said it was recently attacked by a scam known as "slamming", which saw its phoneline taken over by an anonymous provider without their knowledge or consent.

Martin McCammon, acting retail development manager, said as a result the shop was without a phoneline and broadband for three weeks in May which meant they were unable to take card payments, which "significantly" impacted their work and income.

The charity said it has lost £1,188 in sales due to the scam.

The manager said: "Our usual provider Phone Co​-Op contacted us about the switch however unfortunately by the time we were aware the switch had already taken place.

"The anonymous provider that had taken the line did not make themselves known to us, so we were unable to contest it and they also held the line, so we were unable to get it back. 

"As a local and independent branch of the RSPCA we are responsible for raising our own funds ​locally, and our charity shops provide a vital source of income."

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The branch installed a new line and wants to raise awareness of the issue to help prevent it happening to other local businesses and charities.

The manager added: "We exist to help pet owners and local animals through adoption and rehoming, financial aid and our reduced cost microchipping and neutering schemes.

"We receive no government funding and therefore rely on the generosity of our supporters and members of the public to help continue our vital work of rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming more animals.

"This loss of income has had a significant ​impact on our ability to carry out our work and we are deeply saddened that a company would decide to take advantage of our small charity in this way."

Ofcom said tackling slamming is a priority and offers its advice on avoiding being 'slammed' which includes being wary of giving out personal information over the phone.

For more information on the issue visit Ofcom's page here.