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Monday, 27 September 2010

Donors warned against scam clothing collections

  • Published: Tuesday, 21 September 2010

If you are planning to donate clothes to charity, make sure the collection is genuine, the Charity Commission has warned. While most clothes collections are genuine, many are run by fraudsters or by private companies for profit. Read on for advice on how to make sure your donations go to a genuine charity.

Misleading and bogus clothing collections

Report bogus collections

Report a misleading or bogus clothes collection to Consumer Direct

The Charity Commission has received a number of calls about clothing collections that imply the proceeds will go to charity or charitable causes, when in fact they are being run for profit.

There have also been cases where fraudsters have used the name, logo and charity registration number of a genuine charity to appeal for donations and keep the profits.

Clothes collections are an important source of income for charities, so don't be put off donating to genuine charitable collections.

But to make sure you donate to a genuine charity, the Charity Commission has issued the following advice:

  • be wary of leaflets that do not use the words ‘registered charity’ but instead use pictures or wording that give the impression that the appeal is charitable
  • be suspicious of any leaflet that does not state the name of the charity your donations will go to - most genuine collections will be raising funds for a specific individually named charity
  • if you are still unsure about a whether a collection is genuine - for example if it looks unprofessionally produced, is badly written or contains spelling mistakes - try contacting the charity to check that the collection is legitimate
  • if the leaflet only gives mobile numbers or none at all, it may be a sign that the organisation is not collecting for a real charity - registered charities will be happy to provide contact details and confirm whether a collection is on their behalf or not
  • some advertising leaflets will give the impression they are from a charity but provide a company registration number - this is not the same as a charity registration number and may be a sign that the organisation is operating for profit and is not charitable
  • if you are still concerned that your donations may not reach a registered charity, give directly to your local charity shop or at an official charity clothes collection point

If you believe a clothes collection is a scam, or being run in a misleading way, report it to Consumer Direct. You can do this online by following the link below, or by calling 08454 04 05 06.

If you think a bogus leaflet is falsely using the details of a genuine charity, the collection may be unlawful and you should report this to the police.

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