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Charity Commission warns Muslims of bogus collections during Ramadan

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 July 2013

A warning about bogus collectors preying on worshippers during Ramadan has been issued by the Charity Commission.

It comes at the start of the Islamic Holy Month which has begun this-morning and is being endorsed by the East London Mosque.

Worshippers are being urged to check before giving to collections between now and August 7.

The Commission’s Sam Younger said: “Only two-in-five charity donors make checks when they’re approached for money, which allows fake collections to take funds away from deserving charities.

“Everyone in east London who gives to a charity during Ramadan should make sure it reaches a genuine charity by questioning how their money is being used and only give if they’re confident it’s genuine.”

The East London Muslim Centre has an “exclusion zone” around its Whitechapel Road complex forbidding suspicious collections.

Its spokesman Salman Farsi said: “We take matters seriously about unauthorised fundraising anywhere near our premises.

“We work closely with the authorities to tackle this problem and are asking the congregation to be vigilant against individuals who may be collecting unlawfully.”

One-in-10 charities above £100,000 has been a victim of fraud in the last 12 months, the Charities Commission revealed. Genuine fundraisers need a licence from the Met Police to collect in public, it points out.

The Commission is urging donors to check that organisations asking for their cash are registered which can be verified online, make sure collectors are wearing an identity badge, that their collection tin is sealed and to be wary of collectors who only give out a mobile number.

Donors are being urged if suspicious to call Action Fraud on 0300-123 2040.

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