We normally try to keep this blog on the topic of volunteering, but every now and again, something really important comes up that could have an effect on volunteering and that we feel that you need to know.
Sandy Adirondack who provides governance and legal training for the voluntary sector and provides a regular legal update by email has sent this press release from the Charity Commission. She thinks that this is important enough and has asked us to pass it on
Press Office: 020 7674 2332
7 June 2010
Commission warns of bogus telephone calls
The Charity Commission has been made aware of a scam involving people being telephoned by individuals claiming to represent the Charity Commission. In the phone calls these individuals claim to be from the “debt collection department” of the Commission and they demand payments for various services and advertisements.
Some of the bogus calls have demanded payments of thousands of pounds for various services and advertisements. The Commission has been contacted by a number of people who have received calls of this nature and has already reported this matter to the police.
It is important to be clear that:
- Any call from someone claiming to work with or on behalf of the Charity Commission, and claiming any payment in a threatening way, is clearly bogus;
- The Charity Commission does not charge for any of its services to charities; it does not get involved in debt collection either directly or through contracting third parties to do so, and nor does it collect debt on behalf of charities;
- You should immediately report these sorts of incidents to the police, and the Charity Commission would also like to be informed where its name is being used for suspected fraudulent purposes.
Andrew Hind, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission said;
“I am outraged that individuals are misusing the good name of the Charity Commission in this way. I would strongly urge anyone to contact the police if they receive one of these calls and to please notify us as well.”
Our advice to charities is:
- When you speak to any member of staff from the Commission they will always be prepared to give their name, telephone number and email address;
- Commission email addresses always end with the domain name @charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk;
- Check the number of any suspect caller against the direct dial telephone codes for our offices; these are London 0207 674…, Liverpool 0151 703…, Taunton 01823 345… , Newport 01633 2255…
The best way to contact us is by email or if you need to speak to someone urgently you can call our contact centre on 0845 300 0218. Lines are open from 08:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday, except national holidays.