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Clothing charity scam

PUBLISHED: 16:00 02 November 2007 | UPDATED: 08:54 21 July 2010

Charlie Beauvoisin

Charlie Beauvoisin

BOGUS charity collectors are duping people into donating their second-hand clothes so that they can make a profit for themselves...

BOGUS charity collectors are duping people into donating their second-hand clothes so that they can make a profit for themselves.

At first glance, no one would think that the unwanted clothing leaflets were part of a money-making scam.

But these phoney companies are using pictures of crying children with words such as "will you reject me, too?" as "emotional blackmail" tactics to draw people in.

The leaflets claim donated clothes, shoes and blankets will help orphans in Lithuania and provide jobs in eastern Europe.

Charlie Beauvoisin, 40, of Upper Clapton Road, who has received 20 leaflets over the last six months, is anxious to make people aware of the false companies.

"These people are parasites, who are relying on people's generous nature and taking money from charity shops at the same time," she said.

"It's emotional blackmail, probably funding organised crime.

The Charity Commission estimates that these con tricks are costing the charity shop sector at least £2 million in lost income each year.

The commission is warning the public not to be fooled into thinking the companies are charities.

Town hall watchdogs have not received any complaints, but will be looking ,into the matter.

If anyone suspects a scam is operating in their area they should contact Hackney Council's trading standards department on 020 8356 4929.

For advice, visit www.charitycommission.gov.uk/registeredcharities/doorstep.asp, or call 0845 3000 218.

FOR THE FULL STORY SEE THIS WEEK'S GAZETTE AVAILABLE NOW.

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