Hands echos warnings on bogus doorstep collectors

Greg Hands M.P. is backing the campaign against bogus charity bags. People who take part in charity collections are being warned to make sure that the goods will reach genuine causes.

The Bogus Bags campaign is led by the Fundraising Standards Board and supported by fellow industry bodies; the Institute of Fundraising, 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 https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.

Charity collections of household goods are an important way of not only reducing waste and preserving the environment, but of generating vital funding for good causes. Charities deliver branded bags to households asking the public to fill them with unwanted clothes and goods for a set collection date. Whether collected goods are passed on for resale at charity shops, sold overseas or recycled, they can generate a solid income stream for good causes.

Supporting the Bogus Bags campaign, Greg Hands M.P. said: “We know there are some bogus operators collecting goods and giving the false impression that they are being sold for charitable causes. In some places, genuine charity collection bags have also been stolen from doorsteps.  Not only is this a crime against local householders, but charities are losing out on millions in lost income each year.

“Just a few simple checks mean you can give with confidence to the genuine charities that need your support”.

Alistair McLean, Chief Executive of the Fundraising Standards Board, added: “While charity bag crime is a worry for all, we ask donors to remember that the large majority of collections are legitimate and that charities rely heavily on this income stream.”

For more information, visit www.givewithconfidence.org.uk.