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24 June 2010, 06:00 | Updated: 24 June 2010, 06:43
Hertfordshire Trading Standards is urging householders to be wary of bogus charity collections, following reports of a further scam operating in the county.
Two residents have reported receiving pink bags with a picture of a teddy bear asking for clothing for a children's charity called CSS (Children's Support Society).
But Hertfordshire Trading Standards has told heart that CSS is not a charity. The charity number given is for another organisation, the Sir Nicholas Shireburn charity, which was removed from the register in July last year.
Hertfordshire Trading Standards is investigating the source of the bags.
Keith Emsall, Executive Member for Community Safety has been telling us:
"Anyone receiving bags or leaflets about collections should always make sure that they are giving to legitimate charities because, unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people out there willing to exploit good causes for their own benefit.
"This may look like a minor crime, but it is a type of fraud which the Association of Charity Shops says costs UK charities at least £2.5m-£3m a year. Fraudulent activities like this which damage genuine charities are cynical and disgraceful and will not be tolerated."
Last month, Hertfordshire Trading Standards officers seized hundreds of counterfeit charity leaflets claiming to be from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) from a van stopped at South Mimms as part of Operation Utah, a multi-agency operation led by Hertfordshire Constabulary.
If you suspect you have received a bogus charity bag or have any further information about any bogus charities please pass details to Trading Standards via Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or at www.consumerdirect.gov.uk. You can check registered charity details by contacting the Charity Commission on 0845 3000 218 or by visiting their website www.charity-commission.gov.uk.