Bogus companies that pose as charities to collect clothing donations are being targeted by Jo Swinson.
Jo has put forward a motion in Parliament urging that action be taken by the Office of Fair Trading and the Charity Commission against companies deliberately deceiving the public into giving donations to be sold for profit.
“Since highlighting the actions of the company Helpmates operating in East Dunbartonshire earlier this year, I have been contacted by people across the UK concerned about the actions of similar companies in their area. Clearly a coordinated effort is needed to tackle this problem.
“Having written to both the Office of Fair Trading and the Advertising Standards Agency to investigate possible action against these bogus companies, I now call on my colleagues in Parliament to express their condemnation of this dishonest and quite possibly illegal activity.
“The best defence against this practice is consumer vigilance, donating to recognised charities and checking for the Registered Charity Number on printed literature that denotes official charity status.”
Jo first drew attention to the activities of ‘Helpmates Ltd’ in July this year, after being contacted by a constituent in Kirkintilloch who had received a flier asking for ‘urgently needed’ clothing donations.