Trading Standards Information and Advice: Fighting charity clothes collection scams

A new enforcement toolkit has now been launched to help Trading Standards tackle the criminal operators, who are tricking householders into donating their unwanted clothes and goods with misleading statements on their collection bags.

This toolkit comes as a result of the Charity Clothing Collection Symposium which came together to address theft and fraud issues within the sector.

Door to door charity collections are a vital income generator for many charities but crime has become widespread and is costing the sector an estimated £50million each year.

Charity clothes collection scams where purely commercial companies make misleading statements on the bags are a real problem that have been cause for concern for trading standards for many years.

These leaflets give the false impression that items are being sought for charitable means while in reality, items collected from such scams are often sold on for profit.

Up to now the lack of clarity in the legislation that applies has often made it difficult for trading standards to take action but this new toolkit clarifies the law and will help Trading Standards practitioners bring about more enforcement, whilst discouraging crime and enabling the residents of East Sussex to give with confidence.