The Charity Commission is warning charities to be aware of a scam in which telephone calls from people claiming to represent the Commission are made, demanding payments for services and advertisements. These bogus callers claim to work for the “debt collection department” of the Commission. Some have demanded payments of thousands of pounds.
The Commission has already reported the scam to the police. Andrew Hind, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, encouraged anyone receiving such calls to do the same. “I am outraged that individuals are misusing the good name of the Charity Commission in this way”, he said. He also asked that people experiencing such fraudulent calls inform the Commission as well.
The Commission made clear that it does not charge for any of its services to charities. It does not get involved in debt collection either directly or through contracting third parties to do so, and nor does it collect debt on behalf of charities.
The Commission’s advice to charities is:
* when speaking to any member of staff from the Commission they will always be prepared to give their name, telephone number and email address;
* Commission email addresses always end with the domain name @charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk;
* you can check the number of any suspect caller against the direct dial telephone codes for the Commission’s offices; these are London 0207 674…, Liverpool 0151 703…, Taunton 01823 345… , Newport 01633 2255…
The best way to contact the Commission is by email or, if you need to speak to someone urgently, you can call its contact centre on 0845 300 0218. Lines are open from 08:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday, except national holidays.
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