We all want to do our bit for charity, but unfortunately being a lazy nation, it does seem like a bit too much effort to haul our stuff down to the local charity shop. That’s why many of us take advantage of the schemes many charities use, where they deliver a bag to your home, and tell you when it will be collected. You can have a clear out of all your unwanted stuff, and you don’t even have to leave your house. But how do you know that your donation is going where you think it is?
The honest answer is: You don’t. Bogus clothes collectors are on the increase, and many are falling victim to their antics. Bogus collectors use clever ploys to make it seem like you are donating to a genuine charity, when in fact your stuff could be used for their own gain. Some fakes even use real charity logos to con innocent people into thinking they are doing their bit for charity, making it harder and harder to tell if a charity is genuine or not.
Luckily, there are a few tell-tale signs that can help to you catch bogus clothes collectors out.
Genuine charity bags will often be printed in a high quality, with no grammatical or spelling mistakes. Fake collectors can tend to print their bags at a cheaper rate, meaning that the quality may not be to standard. Check the spelling to see if it is a foreign way of spelling, for instance using a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s’, as well as the phrasing used. If it doesn’t sound right, then English may not be their first language. This can help to identify fakes easily.
Check the name of the charity on the bag to see if they are real. If it is not for a named charity, for example “Third World Collection” or “Women’s Cancer Charity”, it is more likely to be bogus. Often, real bags will provide a registered charity number, so check this too to see if it matches.
If you are still in doubt as to whether your charity bags are genuine, you could call up the charity advertised on the bag to make sure that there is a collection out in your area. If you think you have been sent a fake charity bag, get in touch with your local police to let them know that there are bogus collectors in the area, to stop what they are doing and prevent others falling victim to their tricks.
Better still, fill the bag, and take it to the shop. They’ll love you for it.
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