21 August 2007
Watch out for fake ‘charities’
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West today warned Edinburgh residents not to be conned into donating clothing and other goods to companies posing as charities.
Mr Barrett issued the warning after a number of local residents complained of receiving fliers requesting donations and mimicking the appearance of charity fliers, but which where in fact issued by commercial collecting companies.
According to the Association of Charity Shops, the activity costs charities in this country between £2.5 million and £3 million a year while many of the companies involved have links to criminal organisations.
John Barrett, who has been campaigning against bogus doorstep traders for the past 2 years, today called on the government to clamp down on the companies involved and has contacted the office of fair trading to raise the issue.
John Barrett said:
“It is very important that when people give generously and in the spirit of charity, they are not misled about who reaps the benefits of their donation.
“Although these companies are not breaking the law, their actions are highly irresponsible, bordering on deceitful.
“I have written to the Office of Fair Trading to make them aware of the issue and to look into what action can be taken to tackle this problem.
“In the meantime, I would urge people to continue donating to charity, but to either give to recognised charities or look out for the Registered Charity Number on printed literature that denotes official charity status.”