The charity clothing scammers

By at home

If your wardrobe is cluttered with clothes that you longer wear or no longer fit, then donating them to charity is always a great idea. But beware of the bogus charity clothing collection bags that scammers are dropping on your doorstep…

It’s never been easier to donate all your unwanted clothes to charity, with the dozens of leaflets and plastic sacks popping through our letterboxes. But The Charity Commission, the government’s charity watchdog, is warning us to watch out for fake clothing collections who are masquerading as charities. While most clothes collections are genuine, many are run by fraudsters or by private companies for profit.

The Charity Commission has received a number of calls about bogus clothing collections, where fraudsters are using the name, logo and charity registration of a genuine charity for fake appeals.

David Moir from the Association of Charity Shops says that bogus charity clothes collections are on the up, and has estimated that charity shops lost out on £3m in 2008. ‘Many of the bogus collectors seem to be highly organised, and will move around the country, targeting specific areas. Presumably, they only move on when pickings are thin or they are attracting too much attention. A leaflet may appear in South Wales, for example, only to re-appear in Scotland a few months later,’ he said.

But don’t let this put you off donating to charity. The charity watchdog have pinpointed some of the tell-tale signs of fake charity appeals, so look out for:

  • leaflets that do not use the words ‘registered charity’, or do not include the name of the charity at all
  • leaflets that look poorly designed, with spelling mistakes or low quality graphics
  • leaflets that only give only mobile numbers, or no contact details at all
  • leaflets that include a registration number that is not the same as a charity registration number

If you are still worried, then give your donations directly by popping along to your local charity shop.

If you are concerned about a charity appeal, then call Consmer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or visit their website. Leaflets that falsely uses the details of a genuine charity should be reported to the police.

Picture kindly from here

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