Dan Poulter urges people to take care with charity donations
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter has warned people to ensure the safety of any charity donations they make over the Christmas period.
Action Fraud, the Charity Commission, and the Fundraising Regulator, have warned that while the vast majority of fundraising appeals and collections are genuine, criminals can set up fake charities, or even impersonate well-known charitable organisations, to deceive victims.
By giving to a registered, regulated charity this Christmas, people can have assurance their funds will be accounted for in line with charity law.
With Action Fraud and the charity regulators, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Poulter is urging everyone to follow some simple steps to ensure they have a #FraudFreeXmas this year.
Dr Poulter said: “As ever, I have been heartened and encouraged to witness the generous community spirit that people across Central Suffolk and North Ipswich have demonstrated this year.
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"Here in Suffolk, we have a strong sense of community and I would like to thank all those who have been looking out for vulnerable neighbours and friends through what has been a very challenging year.
“But I also want to encourage those across Central Suffolk and North Ipswich who choose to donate this Christmas, to support registered charities, and to be vigilant against ‘charity’ scams. Together, we can look after those who need our help and protect each other from unscrupulous fraudsters.”
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Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, said: “Charities do incredibly important work, helping those in greatest need, especially at this time of year. Unfortunately, criminals will try to abuse the generosity and goodwill of others and this can have a huge financial impact on charities and the good causes they support.
“We would encourage people not to be put off donating to charities, but instead to be vigilant. Make sure you do your research and follow our simple steps to ensure you’re giving your money to a legitimate charity. Don’t let your donations end up in the wrong hands this Christmas.”
Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: “Christmas is always a time of generous charitable giving, and that’s to be celebrated. This year it comes as charities face immense financial strain after heroic efforts to support some of society’s most vulnerable people through the pandemic.
“This means it’s more important than ever to ensure that when we reach into our pockets, our festive contributions don’t go astray. That’s why we’re urging everyone to give with their head as well as their heart and check before they give.”