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Charity collection fraudsters target supermarkets

Charity collection fraudsters target supermarkets

The Charity Commission is warning that some fraudsters are trying to con supermarkets into letting them hold collections on their premises, even quoting Comic Relief’s charity number.

The Charity Commission is advising supermarkets to be on their guard as bogus collectors using fake charity registration numbers attempt to persuade supermarkets to let them collect in their stores. The fraudsters are even using Comic Relief’s charity number in the hope this will boost their chances.

A vigilant staff member at Safeway’s Droitwich store, now part of the Morrisons group, exposed the scam when they were contacted by someone wanting to fundraise on its premises. The organisation gave a fake charity name, ‘Child’s Wish’, and the Comic Relief charity registration number. It was only when the supermarket contacted Comic Relief that it realised the charity didn’t exist.

The Charity Commission is advising supermarkets and anyone donating over the weekend, to follow these simple steps when approached by a fundraiser:

  • make sure the charity has a genuine registration number – this can be checked with the Commission, via its website or contact centre.
  • ask questions: has Comic Relief heard of the charity? How much of the donations raised will go to charity?
  • contact your local town hall or the Charity Commission on 0870 333 0123 if you still have concerns.

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Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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