Don’t give donations to bogus charities

BEARSDEN MSP Fiona McLeod is warning residents to make sure they don’t donate items to bogus charities.

Some firms, claiming to be collecting for charitable causes, have been operating in the area by dropping off collection bags at doorsteps.

However, Ms McLeod, who is backing the Institute of Fundraising and Fundraising Standard Boards’ (FRSB) Give with Care campaign, said: “We are aware that some firms that collect goods on your doorstep mislead the public into believing they are being sold for charitable causes.

“These same organisations have been linked with the theft of goods intended for charities.

“I’d certainly encourage those who do give to carry on but take care that they are giving to legitimate charities. The Institute and FSRB have created some helpful advice and checks to make and I’d encourage everyone to be aware of these.”

Their advice is to keep giving - beneficiaries need people to donate goods that charities can sell on. Use the following checks before you give to doorstep collectors. Or, if you can, donate directly to your local charity shop.

The FRSB says that legitimate charitable collectors will display a Scottish charity number on their literature - it begins with SC0.

You can also look for the FRSB’s “tick” logo showing the charity has signed up to high standards and regular monitoring.

A legitimate collector would leave a working telephone number for you to check they are collecting in your area.

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator will be able to confirm if a collector is working on behalf of a registered charity - go to www.oscr.org.uk or call 01382 220446.

Some collectors may not be registered charities but still be collecting for legitimate good causes - bogus collectors will often promote vague causes rather than specific charities or local good causes.