THIEVES could be behind charity bag collections in Huddersfield, an MP has warned.
And now Barry Sheerman he is backing a campaign to crack down on them.
Labour MP Mr Sheerman is warning people who donate unwanted goods on their doorstep that phoney collectors could be posing as charitable organisations.
“We are aware there are some bogus operators collecting goods and giving the false impression they are being sold for charitable causes,’’ he said.
“In some parts of the country genuine charity collection bags have also been stolen from residents’ doorsteps.
“Not only is this a crime against local householders, but charities are losing out on millions in lost income each year.
“I am encouraging residents to make a few simple checks so that you can give with confidence to the charities that so desperately need your support.”
He has backed a national campaign called Bogus Bags which aims to help the public give confidently to the charities they care about.
The Fundraising Standards Board are leading the campaign along with the Institute of Fundraising, the Charity Retail Association and the Textile Recycling Association.
A spokesman for the Fundraising Standards Board said: “While charity bag crime is a worry for all, we ask donors to remember that the large majority of collections are legitimate and that charities rely heavily on this income stream.”
Often charities deliver branded bags to households and ask people to fill them with unwanted clothes and goods for resale at charity shops, overseas or which can be recycled.
The profit made is a good source of income for the charities and also helps to reduce waste and preserve the environment.
In order to make sure that people who donate on their doorsteps are giving to the genuine causes, the board offered the following advice.
l Check – legitimate charity collections bags will clearly state what organisation funds are being raised for and feature a registered charity number. Check these details with the Charity Commission by visiting www.charitycommission.gov.uk
l Look for the tick – as with any fundraising appeal you can look for the FRSB tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation and to industry standards. See www.givewithconfidence.org.uk
l Call – a collector would ensure there is a working landline telephone number on fundraising materials for you to contact them on.
l Report – after making these checks, if you think that a collection is not legitimate report it to Action Fraud on 03001232030 or visit www.actionfraud.org.uk