Reminder about bogus traders

People are being warned by Merton Trading Standards to be wary of organisations collecting clothes for charity that then sell them for profit.

These companies have a completely commercial nature, but display messages such as, “all proceeds will go to help the needy” etc.

To distinguish between the genuine and the bogus, look for the following:

· Does the leaflet have the organiser’s complete contact details.

· The leaflet/collecting bag must show a registered charity number. A ‘registered’ number usually means they are just registered as a company with Companies House.

· It is legal for professional fundraising companies to collect on behalf of charities, but the actual amount the charity receives must be mentioned.

· The charity the organisation is collecting on behalf of must be mentioned in any fundraising material.

· If you don’t recognise the charity/company involved, more information can be obtained before donating anything. If you’re not satisfied, then don’t donate.

Councillor Diane Neil-Mills, cabinet member for Housing and Regeneration said:

“Please read any leaflets very carefully before you give anything away, as you may be boosting a company’s profits, rather than helping a worthwhile cause.”

For further information, please contact Trading Standards on 020 8545 4018.