POLICE are hunting a suspected cheat who is using three children in an effort to con innocent residents in Shoreham and Southwick out of their cash.
In recent weeks, police have received a number of reports of residents being contacted on their doorsteps and asked for money.
In each case the person visiting has been a woman and has had with her up to three children. One of the children has knocked on the door and told the resident they are collecting for charity.
However the charity named by the callers has changed - on some occasions the RSPCA has been named and on others it has been local schools – so police believe the collectors to be taking money for themselves.
PC Laura Mitchell said: “The woman appears to be using the children to get money for her from kind-hearted members of the community.
“Thankfully it does not appear that any resident has handed over any large amounts of money but we need to find the people involved in case more people fall victim to her.
“We need to speak to anyone who has been visited by the woman and children over the last few weeks so we can piece together exactly where she has been and how much she could have collected.
“If you have any idea who she is or where she could be, please contact us”
PC Mitchell is also urging residents to check caller’s IDs before they consider handing any money over.
“Official charity collectors will have ID and will be willing to show you it so do not be ashamed about asking to see it,” she added.
Anyone with information should email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting serial 905 of 01/07, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.