The Charity Commission and the Fundraising Standards Board have given their backing to a campaign led by police and counter-terrorism officials in London that aims to disrupt groups that use charitable collections for criminal purposes.
The organisations are supporting the Support Charity Not Crime campaign, which is being led by the Metropolitan Police and the London Prevent Network, a group made up of the coordinators of the government’s anti-terrorism Prevent strategy in parts of the capital identified as priority areas.
The campaign, launched today, has been established to deter criminals from carrying out charity fraud and theft by educating the public about how they can ensure they give only to real charities.
It asks people to make checks before making donations – whether a charity has a genuine registration number, for example, and if fundraisers have proper ID.
The campaign will use social media channels including Twitter to raise awareness, and police will be distributing up to 200,000 leaflets to spread the message.
Alistair McLean, chief executive of the FRSB, said it was "deeply concerning" that criminals preyed upon the public’s generosity.
"Charities deliver a raft of critical services and awareness programmes across the capital that simply wouldn’t be possible without donations from the public," he said. "In supporting this campaign, our core focus is to protect that income stream, to preserve public trust and, above all, to encourage charity donors to keep on giving."