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Poppy scam 'appalling' says Cheshire British Legion
8:00am Friday 1st March 2013 in News
A SCAM in which poppies are sold for profit has been branded ‘appalling’ by the Royal British Legion.
Trading standards is currently investigating websites selling poppy memorabilia with cash pocketed rather than donated to the Army charity.
Phil Reade, vice chairman of Cheshire Royal British Legion on Wilderspool Causeway, said: “"I am appalled that unscrupulous companies are prepared to sell poppy badges, mugs, T-shirts and even wall plaques online for profit.
“The Royal British Legion campaigns tirelessly throughout the year, not just on Armistice Day in November, to support our armed forces past and present."
The charity is synonymous with the poppy emblem, using it to help raise money to support soldiers, veterans and their families.
It also organises the annual poppy appeal for Remembrance Sunday.
The RBL also has its own online shop where greeting cards, jewellery, clothes and cuddly toys featuring a poppy in its design can be bought.
Money from every sale goes to the charity, which aims to fundraise throughout the year.
However, imitation websites are now selling the same goods for profit.
Shoppers on internet forums say they have paid for merchandise believing it to be from the RBL.
Often items are not sent and refunds are not given.
The scam has been called ‘disgraceful’ by Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer.
He said: "It may not be the time of year when people are thinking of buying a poppy to support our fallen forces but this scam shows that criminals are prepared to capitalise on people’s good will.
“I think it is disgraceful that people are giving their money in good faith thinking that it is going to a good cause.
“I urge people not to buy them."
To buy official RBL poppy goods go to poppyshop.org.uk