Warning over bogus charity

IPSWICH residents were today warned to beware of leaving clothes and bric-a-brac for bogus charity collection companies after a spate of fraudulent collections were carried out in the town.

IPSWICH residents were today warned to beware of leaving clothes and bric-a-brac for bogus charity collection companies after a spate of fraudulent collections were carried out in the town.

Numerous streets have been targeted with misleading leaflets in past few weeks claiming to be collecting unwanted clothes and items on behalf of the Children's Welfare Foundation.

The leaflet states that proceeds would be used to help terminally ill or poorly babies when it appears that little, if any, of the money raised would support these charities. The leaflets say it is a registered charity and quote a charity number.

The Charity Commission struck off the organisation on October 24 after a 10-month investigation. A spokeswoman for the commission said it was an offence to falsely claim to be a registered charity.

Numerous complaints from up and down the country prompted the Commission's investigation of the organisation and its agent company, which is based in Bedfordshire.

The Council confirmed that the Children's Welfare Foundation had not been given a licence to collect for charity anywhere in Ipswich.

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Mike Grimwood, the Borough Council's Licensing Manager, said residents should save their donations for legitimate charities and collections.

“This type of company trades off people's goodwill and sense of charity but are collecting under false pretences and outside of the regulatory controls.

“We are very concerned that there may be many door to door collections which are not now being made by genuine registered charities but by businesses who simply sell the goods for profit”

Mr Grimwood said there were reports of collectors in different areas of the town- they tend to stay in a street for only an hour or two before popping up in a different part of the town.

He had:“Anyone carrying out charity collections ­ either in the street or door-to-door ­ needs to have a licence and Ipswich Borough Council will have their details.”

Residents who would like to report instances of possible bogus collections can either call the Charities Commission direct on 0845 3000 218 or speak to a member of Ipswich's licensing team on 01473 433075.

Does the sack or leaflet say the collection is for a registered charity?

If so, what is the registered charity number ­ call 0845 3000 218 or visit the online register of charities at www.charitycommission.gov.uk to check that it's genuine.

Do they only give a registered company number? This just means that the organisation is registered with Companies House.

Is the charity actually named?

Does the leaflet or bag give a phone number? The absence of a phone number may mean the collectors don't want to answer questions.