Scam Awareness Month (July 2015) - Clothes Aid 2024

Scam Awareness Month (July 2015)

In case you weren’t aware, July is Scam Awareness Month, a drive supported by Citizens Advice to protect UK households from a wide variety of scams, plots and other nefarious activity, including rogue traders, online phishing emails, premium-rate phone lines and many more.

Each year millions of people in the UK fall prey to scammers. Some estimates of the total cost of mass-marketed scams are as high as £5 billion. The truth is – with reporting levels as low as 5 percent – this cost could be far higher.

Here at Clothes Aid we’d like to talk about another scam which is important to us – Illegitimate charity collections.

About Illegitimate collections

Illegitimate collections, which are also known as bogus collections, is the practice of taking the clothing which the Great British public thinks they have donated to charity.
This usually occurs either as theft – where bags intended for charity are taken from the roadside by unauthorised teams, or deception – where companies create & distribute fake bags or flyers, claiming to raise money for charity, often without any charity details.

How to spot a genuine Clothes Aid collection bag

Charity Bags
Genuine Clothes Aid & Macmillan Cancer Support collection bags

Every collection bag we deliver will have the following:
1) Clothes Aid logo
2) The logo of the registered charity that we are collecting for
3) Which day of the week we will collect your donation
4) Our helpline number (020 7288 8545) and other contact details
5) The Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) approved tick
6) Details about how much money your donation is worth to our charities – it is required by law for collection bags to include information how your donation helps the charity, plus their registered charity numbers.

Bag Breakdown
What to look out for on a genuine charity collection bag

As it’s Scam Awareness month, we’re advising everyone to watch out for any non Clothes Aid collection bags, leaflets or other promotional material which claims that your donation will go to charity, but doesn’t include any details about the charity or any charity numbers.

Don’t be afraid to check up on the charity numbers – you can easily check to see if a charity is legitimate by checking their registered charity number on the Charity Commission website – see the links below.

About Clothes Aid & our teams

All Clothes Aid staff will wear a hi-visibility vest and must carry ID with them at all times. Take a look at an example identity card below.

IDBadge Split
Left: Clothes Aid collection staff. Right: Example Clothes Aid ID badge

If you’re worried about the legitimacy of any of our staff, ask to inspect their ID badge. If you’re still not sure, please call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 and quote their name and ID card number. Our helpline staff will be happy to take your call.

Stamping down on Bogus Collections

If you’ve had a fake collection bag or leaflet through your door, or have spotted a bogus collection taking place in your area, please call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 and give us as much details as possible (date / time, location, vehicle descriptions & registrations and descriptions of anyone involved). We’re working with regional police forces and Trading Standards to crack down bogus collectors who are taking donations away from genuine charities.

If you have any questions, you can call our helpline, fill in our contact form, or get in touch via our Facebook & Twitter pages.

Useful Links

Citizens Advice – Scam Awareness Month website
Charity Commission – Check a charity number here
Trading Standards
Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB)
Institute Of Fundraising (IoF)