Warning over bogus charity workers

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TRADING standards officers are warning Pendle people to be on the look-out for fake charity collectors.

Officers are becoming increasingly concerned about carefully-worded leaflets requesting unwanted clothes and other basic household items which are being pushed through letterboxes. There is growing evidence that these leaflets are in fact from commercial businesses rather than bona fide charities.

They are advising people that genuine leaflets will usually provide a charity registration number. Most door-to-door collectors will wait for at least two days before collecting any donations, allowing people time to check the Charity Commission’s online register of charities.

County Coun. Albert Atkinson, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member responsible for trading standards said: “Bogus charity scams are a national problem which abuse the trust and generosity of those who want to make donations to worthy causes. They can have a detrimental effect on legitimate charities

“And the same is true here as well. People identified bogus charity collections to be the fourth highest scam in the recent scamnesty campaign, in which trading standards and the police encouraged people to put their scam mailings in special scamnesty bins.

“Donating clothing and goods to charities is a great way to help people who are in need; however, charities are losing substantial sums of money to anonymous bogus collectors who mislead members of the public into thinking they are charities. It’s important the public are confident that their donation is going to a genuine charitable cause.

“Most collections for charities are genuine and provide a valuable source of income. However, people may not be aware that in some cases, only a small portion of the money raised actually reaches the charity or that, in extreme cases, the money is used to fund organised crime.”