MP warns of bogus doorstep collectors
The MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, is supporting a public awareness campaign to tackle charity bag crime.
The Fundraising Standards Board claims that bogus charity bag collectors cost UK charities up to £50 million a year. The number of complaints reported to the Board has increased by 100% in the last year.
Mr George said: “Local people and charities have been aware of and complained about bogus operators collecting goods and giving the false impression that they are being sold for charitable causes. In some parts of the country, genuine charity collection bags have also been stolen from residents’ doorsteps. Not only is this a crime against local householders, but charities are losing out on millions in lost income each year. Local residents are encouraged to make a few simple checks so that you can give with confidence to the genuine charities that need your support”.
The Bogus Bags campaign is led by the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) and supported by fellow industry bodies; the Institute of Fundraising (IoF), Charity Retail Association and Textile Recycling Association. The campaign aims to help the public give confidently to the charities they care about, offering this simple advice to local residents:
• Check – Legitimate charity collection bags will clearly state what organisation(s) funds are being raised for and feature a registered charity number. Check these details with the Charity Commission www.charitycommission.gov.uk
• Look for the tick – As with any fundraising appeal, you can look for the FRSB tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation and to industry standards. See www.givewithconfidence.org.uk
• Call – A collector would ensure there is a working landline telephone number on fundraising materials for you to contact them on.
• Report – After making these checks, if you think that a collection is not legitimate, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.org.uk
For more information, visit www.givewithconfidence.org.uk
Image credit: Carl D Patterson