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Safer Giving

Support charity not crime

Most of us give to charity and when we do, it is important to expect that our donations will go to the people who need it most, not into the pockets of criminals.

Most collections and appeals are legitimate, but some are scams. Fraudsters will always try to exploit goodwill and attempt to deprive causes that most need help.

In some instances this can even see donations falling into the hands of organised criminals and terrorists.

So what can you do to stop the fraudsters and make sure donations really do reach the causes that need them? Quite a lot. It’s simpler than you might think to check the authenticity of a collector or charity.

  • 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: www.charitycommission.gov.uk
  • Look for the FRSB tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation, encouraging people to give with confidence. www.frsb.org.uk
  • When approached by collectors, check whether they have proper ID and that any collection tin is sealed.
  • Fundraisers require a licence from the local authority (or the Police in London) to collect in a public place. Check that they have this. If the collection is in a privately owned place (including shopping centres and train stations), check that they have the owner’s permission.
  • If in doubt, ask the collector for more information - a genuine fundraiser will always be happy to answer questions and explain more about the work of the charity.

After making these checks, if you think that a collection or appeal is not legitimate, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and inform the Charity Commission. http://www.actionfraud.police.uk

But the most important message of all is please don’t stop supporting charities.

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