Drive to stop the wristbands scam

Graham Willgoss

The Institute of Fundraising and the Charity Commission are to meet to discuss tackling the problem of counterfeit wristbands.

The meeting follows a scathing attack on the voluntary sector by Marcus O'Shea, head of fundraising at Breast Cancer Care, for letting the conmen get away with it.

"If people were making fake Nike trainers they'd have legal teams on it in seconds," said O'Shea. "Charities need umbrella bodies to step in and really hammer down on the counterfeiters and profiteering."

Nike's anti-racism wristband, priced at £1.50, is being sold for up to £8.99 online, with no way for people to check that the money is going to charity. Beat bullying wristbands, distributed free by Radio 1, have changed hands for £18.

No date or agenda for the meeting has yet been agreed but a commission spokeswoman said the focus would be on agreeing a policy.

"It is despicable to see that criminals are, yet again, targeting money intended for good causes," said institute chief executive Lindsay Boswell.

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