Muslims warned over ‘bogus charities’

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Commercial businesses ‘misleading’ the public, council says

TRADING Standards officers from Leicester City Council are warning residents to beware of bogus charity collectors targeting the city’s Muslim community.

Officers have received numerous complaints from residents concerned about suspicious door to door collectors who claim they are collecting clothes for charity, but are actually doing so as commercial businesses.

The leaflets in English and Urdu give the false impression that items, such as clothes, shoes and toys are being collected for charitable purposes, the council said. 

However, checks with the Charity Commission have revealed the organisations are not registered charities, and are not registered with the city council to undertake door to door collections.

Musharrof Ali of Leicester City Council’s Trading Standards Service, said: “Our investigations reveal that these organisations are out to make money.

“However, their leaflets do not make it clear that they are commercial businesses. I believe the leaflets are designed and marketed to mislead and deceive the public.

“I urge the community not to leave out any goods for collection in response to these leaflets. Our inquiries are continuing into the people running these organisations.”

Leicester City Council’s cabinet member for environment and sustainability, Councillor Sarah Russell, added: “It’s great that people want to help others by donating clothes and other goods. 

“However, I’d urge people only to donate unwanted goods to charities they know and trust and not in response to leaflets received through the door.”

Concerned residents can contact Charity Commission on 0845 300 018 to check out any charities. They can also report any suspicious organisations to Leicester City Council Trading Standards Service, via Consumer Direct, on 08454 04 05 06.

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