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£350k Wrongly Donated To Christmas Charity Scams

Be cautious when donating ...

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Posted by Roger Eddowes on 17/12/2020 @ 8:00AM

Action Fraud is the national reporting centre for cybercrime and other fraudulent behaviour. It recently reported that almost £350,000 of charitable donations ended up in the pockets of criminals last year ...

If you feel that a fundraising appeal or a collection is a charity scam then report it to Action Fraud!

If you feel that a fundraising appeal or a collection is a charity scam then report it to Action Fraud!

copyright: ldprod / 123rf

The majority of fundraising appeals and cash collections in the high street are genuine, yet a criminal can easily set up a fake charity or even do a good impersonation of other well-known charities with the intention of deceiving their victims.

The Charity Commission, the Fundraising Regulator and Action Fraud have teamed up to help the general public ensure their donations go to the right place this festive season.

"Christmas fundraising is of great importance
after such a tough year!"

Many charities had to pause their fundraising activities while still giving out money to those they support. Unfortunately, there are people who will take advantage of people's generosity at this time of year, and this means legitimate charities are losing out.

So, be sure to carry out some checks before giving away your hard-earned money. Check to see if the charity is actually registered via the Fundraising Regulator. If they are, this means they are operating the way a charity should and that most of the money is going to those in need.

How to check a charity is legitimate:

  • Make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information. Look for the registered charity number on their website

  • You can also check if a charity is registered with the Fundraising Regulator

  • If you are approached by a collector on the street or at your door, ask to see the collector's ID badge. You can also check whether the collector has a licence to fundraise with the local authority, or has the consent of the private site owner

  • Do not click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and phone calls that ask for your personal or financial details – even if it's in the name of a charity

  • To donate online, type in the address of the charity website yourself rather than clicking on a link. If in any doubt, contact the charity directly about donating

  • Be cautious when donating to an online fundraising page. Fake fundraising pages will often be badly written or have spelling mistakes. When donating to an online fundraising page, only donate to fundraising pages created by someone you know and trust

And after all of that, if you feel that a fundraising appeal or a collection is dodgy, then do report it to Action Fraud, either online or by calling 0333 123 2040.

Let's ensure those who actually need it have a Merry Christmas this year.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.