Richmondshire householders are being warned about a rise in the number of bogus and unlicensed house to house collections.
The District Council said it has seen an increase in the number of local people logging calls about bogus clothing charity collections.
Licensing Officers are working with North Yorkshire County Council Trading Standards Officers to look into complaints about leaflets distributed in the Richmondshire area asking for donations of clothes, shoes and other household items
“These leaflets are often worded to encourage people to assume that the items are collected for charity,” said Coun Jill McMullon, spokesperson for environmental health and licensing.
“Only last week council staff received bags and leaflets from one of the bogus charities at their homes. Donating your clothing and other goods to genuine charities helps to raise vital funds – but we urge people to make sure their donations are going to a legitimate charity or organisation collecting on their behalf.
“Unfortunately, these anonymous ‘bogus’ collectors try to exploit our generosity for their own gain. They may also steal donations left for collection for genuine charities.”
He said bogus collections cost charities at least £2 million a year through theft and from people giving clothing to organisations which they think are charities, but may be commercial companies collecting for profit.
“Please don’t be taken in read the small print and know where your donation is going. If there is no legitimate telephone number, the people who put the leaflet through your door don’t want you to call for a reason.”
Check callers out by contacting The Charity Commission helpline on 0845 3000218 or visit their online register of charities www.charity-commission.gov.uk to see whether the name or number given belongs to a legitimate registered charity
The Licensing Team at Richmondshire District Council by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01748 829100 to check whether the collector has been licensed
Call Citizens Advice Consumer service for further advice 08454 04 05 06