Newham holds day of action to raise awareness of phoney charity collectors
PUBLISHED: 07:31 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:17 19 March 2014
A warning that some charity collectors rattling their tins on Newham’s streets may be crooks is being made today (Wednesday) in a leafleting operation being jointly carried out by the council and police.
Residents are being urged to be wary of fraudsters who dupe unsuspecting members of the public into giving money to bogus charities in scams operated by criminals.
Some claim to fundraise on behalf of legitimate charities while others set up fake charities and claim to be collecting for emotive causes such as children or cancer.
The scams can be executed in person or by phone and the public is also being warned not to give away too much personal information.
As part of a day of action, the town hall’s enforcement officers and police will be on high streets handing out leaflets offering advice to the public to bear in mind when donating. They will also be distributed to libraries and East Ham Customer Service Centre.
Cllr Ian Corbett, executive member for infrastructure and environment, said: “Charity collectors are a common sight on Newham streets – most are legitimate and will have obtained permission from the police.
“Some, however, are scams and in some instances donations fall into the hands of organised criminals and terrorists.
“It is important we support charity, not crime, and be able to give with confidence. Above all else, please don’t stop supporting charities.”
Among advice given is – genuine fundraising materials should feature the charity’s name, registered name and a landline contact number. Be wary of those that list only a mobile number.
Before making a donation or accepting a collection tin, check the charity’s name and registration number. You can verify this at the Charity Commission’s website (charitycommission.gov.uk). Fundraisers require a licence to collect in a public place. Check they have this.
If you think a collection or appeal is not legitimate, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or tell the Charity Commission via actionfraud.police.uk