Warning issued on charity help

Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards Service has recently been made aware of suspicious charity collectors in the area.

Businesses and members of the public are urged to be wary about donating money or buying goods from people purporting to act on behalf of charities without ensuring they are genuine.

Genuine charity collectors should have photo ID with their name and details of their charitable organisation, including the registered charity number.

Those who want to donate or buy from charitable collectors and who have any concerns about their validity should contact the charity directly to check the details.

Trading Standards advise against calling phone numbers stated on ID cards in case the number is bogus – consumers should get the number online or from the phonebook.

Officers have also received enquiries about doorstep clothing collectors and although this activity is not illegal, consumers who wish to donate clothing to a charity should ensure the collector is genuine and registered.

All charities are required to be registered with either the Office of Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) or The Charity Commission for England and Wales.

A list of registered charities can be found on their websites; www.oscr.org.uk and www.charity-commission.gov.uk

All charities have to provide their name and registration number and genuine charities should not object to basic checks being carried out against them.

Trading Standards enforcement officer, Adele Crowe, said: “We don’t wish to hinder genuine charity collectors, but it is unfortunate that some disreputable individuals try to pass themselves off as genuine in order to generate donations or sell goods. We will investigate all allegations of false claims being made.”