Doorstep scams

Door -650

The Fundraising Regulator has advised charities to stop all door to door and street collections during the coronavirus crisis**, so genuine, registered charities should not be knocking on your door during Ramadan.

What to look out for

  • Anyone who doesn’t have an ID badge with registered charity number.
  • People collecting for non-specific causes, such as ‘it’s for local sick children’.
  • Collectors who cannot give a registered charity number when asked.
  • People being overly aggressive or too pushy.
  • Anyone who asks to come inside your house. This is always a possible sign that a charity collector is not genuine, and during the current pandemic you should not let anyone except carers or emergency services into your house, even if you trust or know them.

What to do

Remember, you don’t have to open the door to anyone you don’t know at any time, and current government guidelines state that you should stay at least two metres (six feet) away from people outside your household to help contain the spread of coronavirus.

If you decide to answer the door, take the following steps:

  • Stop – Think about whether you’re expecting anyone.
  • Lock – Lock all your other outer doors before you go to the front door. Some fraudsters work together – one keeps you talking while another gets in through a back door.
  • Chain – Put the door chain on. Look through the window or spyhole to see who’s there.
  • Check – Ask for an identity card and examine it carefully. If you’re still unsure, phone the charity the person claims to represent. Get the number from the charity’s official website or your phone book. Don’t worry about shutting the door and leaving someone waiting. A genuine person won’t mind.
  • Tell others - If you’re being pressured or feel unsafe, contact friends, family or the police.

Who to contact about doorstep scams

  • Contact the Charity Commission to check if a charity is officially registered. www.gov.uk/charity-commission
    In Scotland contact the Scottish Charity Regulator www.oscr.org.uk and in Northern Ireland contact the Charity Commission Northern Ireland www.charitycommissionni.org.uk
  • Dial 999 in an emergency or 101 if you’re not in immediate danger but want to report the incident.
  • Contact Action Fraud to report a door to door collection scam. Tel: 0300 123 2040 Textphone: 0300 123 2050 www.actionfraud.police.uk

** Source: https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/more-from-us/news/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-fundraising