FRSB launches warning campaign on fraudulent clothing collectors

Half a million leaflets will be delivered in Bogus Bags campaign

Campaign aims to educate people about difference between authentic charity clothing collections and bogus ones
Campaign aims to educate people about difference between authentic charity clothing collections and bogus ones

The Fundraising Standards Board is launching a campaign in England and Wales to educate people about bogus charity clothing collectors.

The Bogus Bags campaign, which begins today, will echo a 2009 scheme that encouraged people to look out for fake charity clothing collection sacks.

It also follows the more recent Give with Care campaign that ran in Scotland in September.

The Bogus Bags campaign, which is being supported by the Institute of Fundraising, the Charity Retail Association and the Textile Recycling Association, will initially be launched in Chatham and Aylesford in Kent by local MP Tracey Crouch, who has been vocal on the subject.

Sixty-thousand leaflets will be delivered to households in Kent by the end of the year. These leaflets will advise residents to check that charity collection bags are legitimate by, for example, checking for registered charity numbers.

The campaign will then be rolled out across "key crime hotspots" throughout England and Wales, a statement from the FRSB said, with leaflets being distributed by legitimate commercial collectors to 500,000 households.

Alistair McLean, chief executive of the FRSB, said it had also sent letters to every MP about the campaign, asking them to support it by sending letters to the local press about the problem of bogus collectors.

He said it was important for the campaign to emphasise how important clothing donations were to charities. "The last thing we want to do is put people off giving, but if we don’t act soon to inform donors what to look for and make life harder for bogus collectors, public mistrust will spread and may affect other forms of giving," he said.

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