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Making your donation count: how to avoid festive fraud

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Fraud, Safer giving

Give Safely

As the festive season brings with it a period of increased public generosity, we’re sharing a few quick steps you can take to make it tougher for fraudsters to take advantage of your goodwill.

These will help ensure your donations make it to the genuine causes in need of your support this winter.

Although most charity fundraising is genuine; fraudsters and criminals sometimes take advantage of festive giving, using methods such as fake appeal websites, email appeals that falsely use the name of genuine charities, or appeals from fake charities.

Follow our simple steps for giving safely:

  • make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information
  • check the charity’s name and registration number on the Charity Register at – most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered
  • be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them
  • contact or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to, to understand how they are spending their funds
  • look out for the Fundraising Badge – the logo that says ‘registered with Fundraising Regulator’ – and check the Fundraising Regulator’s Directory of organisations which have committed to fundraise in line with the Code of Fundraising Practice
  • a face-to-face fundraiser should have a licence from the relevant Local Authority Licensing team or the Metropolitan Police (in Greater London). Never feel under pressure into donating immediately. Ask the collector for more information and if in doubt, wait and make a donation directly at a time that suits you

The UK public regularly donate to charities – a recent study by the Charitable Aid Foundation put the UK third in world rankings of giving, with 71% of people regularly donating money to charitable causes. The British public give more during the festive season than other times of the year, as we see many fundraising appeals from charities during this time.

Help ensure your donations reach those who need them this Christmas.

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