Bogus Charity Collectors ‘Pocketing Cash’

Charities are losing out on money because of bogus street collectors, police have warned. The PSNI said reports from across Northern Ireland suggested fundraisers were pocketing donations given by generous passers-by. People are being urged to check identification before giving cash.

Ciara Gallagher of the Institute of Fundraising said it was essential that charities retained the public’s confidence and support. “We would like to reassure the public that the majority of people who fundraise for thousands of good causes day-in day-out are genuine,” she said. “If you are concerned that collectors may not be genuine you can always give directly to the charity – the last thing we want is for people to stop giving.”

Detective Inspector Sam Sittlington of the PSNI’s Financial Investigation Unit said people should not feel embarrassed to ask a collector for identification. “Charity workers carry official collectors cards with a charity logo, which is signed by the charity and has a registration number – it also carries contact details.

“Many of the cards used by collectors have photographs of the collector. Charity workers who are genuine also carry a letter to say they are authorised to collect money for charity.”