GOOD-HEARTED citizens in the Capital have been warned to be on the look-out for a bogus charity collector who sells on donations for profit.
The Clothing Collection Company, which is registered in Dalkeith, has been posting flyers through the letterboxes of homes in Edinburgh and Glasgow asking for clothing, accessories, bed linen, toys, and other bric-a-brac for “those who do not have the possibility to purchase new footwear and clothing.” The logo used on the leaflet is extremely similar to the official logo of the British Heart Foundation, and the leaflet also claims that the firm donates £50 a week to Save the Children in Scotland.
But in fact donated items are collected by the company and sold on for a profit – something which has prompted an investigation into its activities by both Save the Children and local trading standards officers.
Jane Haley, who had one of the leaflets posted through her door earlier in the week, said: “I donate regularly to the British Heart Foundation and at first glance I thought this had come from them. I was all ready to start looking things out, but when I looked at the leaflet more closely, I saw that it says the items donated will be sold on in Eastern Europe!
“Lots of people who have also got this may not have taken time to read all the information and have probably given things to this company thinking it was for a good cause. It makes me so cross that these people are taking donations away from genuine charities, just to make money.”
British Heart Foundation Retail Director Mike Taylor said: “Bogus collections are a huge problem for charities, especially when logos are copied in order to trick the public into donating stock, like in this example. You can help the charities like the BHF by donating directly to your local shop and also by checking that a collection is legitimate – BHF collection vans display BHF logos and all operatives carry ID cards. Stolen charity bags and fraudulent collections cost UK charities an estimated £15 million per year so it’s really important to report these incidents to the police.”
Alison Byers, Save the Children’s retail operations manager in Scotland, added: “We can confirm that Save the Children do not operate or endorse bag collections in Scotland. We are currently working with trading standards to investigate the Clothing Collection Company.”
The company did not respond to a request for comment.