Warning over charity bag scammers

PUBLISHED: 18:29 14 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:04 11 May 2010

BE wary of scams involving collections of unwanted clothes, toys and other household items. That s the warning from Hertfordshire Trading Standards. In recent weeks there have been several companies which have dropped leaflets with misleading informat

BE wary of scams involving collections of unwanted clothes, toys and other household items. That's the warning from Hertfordshire Trading Standards.

In recent weeks there have been several companies which have dropped leaflets with misleading information into households across the county.

A firm called Children's Support Society (CSS) asked residents to donate "unwanted clean re-useable clothing, bedding, curtains, paired shoes, toys, handbags and belts".

The leaflet claims that the company is dedicated to providing the "shelter, food, clothing education and healthcare that are essential to a child's wellbeing". However, the charity number given is registered to a charity which has nothing to do with CSS.

Two dissolved companies have also been asking for donations.

W&W Help Ltd has dropped four different types of leaflets throughout the county, some asking for donations for "Third World countries" and others claiming clothes collected would help raise money for a breast cancer prevention programme. W&W Help Ltd was dissolved on March 24 this year, according to Companies House.

Valewall Ltd, which carried out a leaflet drop in the county last month, also claimed to be collecting for a "Third World Clothing Appeal". Valewall Ltd was dissolved on May 1, 2007, according to Companies House.

Keith Emsall, county councillor for Letchworth and executive member for community safety, said: "This may appear to be a minor crime, but these types of collections can be sold for between £600-800 per tonne. The real victims are the people who genuine charities look to help.

"Residents who may be expecting a collection from any of these companies should contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506. We need as much information as possible."

If members of the public are unsure of the legitimacy of charities seeking collections of any kind, advice is available on Consumer Direct's website at www.consumerdirect.gov.uk

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