Do not delay – how to spot a fake charity flyer

Update! (2009-10-28) 3 years later and the Do Not Delay website has been updated. Thanks to this comment for pointing it out. Their About the Project page gives a detailed account of what they do in Lithuania:

Six years ago, the Lithuanian rate of deaths caused by breast cancer was the highest in Europe.

DO NOT DELAY, a breast cancer awareness program, was initiated by Agnė Zuokienė in 2003. Today, the number of deaths is significantly lower.

The Do Not Delay team includes professional doctors – specialists of their field who face breast cancer cases on a daily basis.

The Pink Bus travels to the most remote locations in Lithuania to deliver the message to all women – “Take care of your health, pay more attention to yourselves for your own sake and for the sake of those who love you!”

It would appear from this that “Do Not Delay” are in fact a charity in Lithuania. They’re not registered as one in Ireland or the UK however. This report by the Fermanagh Herald covers some of the same concerns I have and I will repeat my advice below. You’re better off handing your clothes in to a local second hand shop. At least then you’ll be certain the proceeds from the sale of those items will go to registered charities in your locality.

The original post continues below:

Do not delay! It’s not unusual for junk mail to be delivered to my door. Thankfully there’s a lot less of it than the electronic equivalent. Over the summer a number of flyers made their way to my doorstep, supposedly from charities looking for old clothes to sell to raise funds. Unfortunately only one of those was from an actual charity and they collected the clothes at a local carpark.

The latest one is from donotdelay.org. I was going to let it pass but my neighbour had a bag out for collection this morning which prompted me to grab the laptop and show them this page on letterbox spam. That page points out that donotdelay.org redirects to nedelsk.lt, which asks for donations to be sent to this bank account in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Azzara VšĮ
Enterprise code 124013046
Account no. LT267044060001204079
SEB Vilniaus Bankas
Bank code 70440

There’s a phone number too, 0044-28-3084-9971, which is a UK number and not exactly encouraging for an Irish person.

How do you spot the fake charity flyers?

  • It will have a contact number but it’s more than likely a mobile number. In Ireland, that’s an 085, 086, 087 number. A landline number means that they at least have a base or premises in the country.
  • The flyer should have a registered charity number. A registered business number is not the same.
  • Ring your local authority and ask if the “charity” is licensed to make door-to-door collections.
  • Use the Google search engine to find out about them. Use any registration numbers you find, an identifying website address, even search for text from the flyer. Any charity with the resources to organise a door-to-door clothes collection will have at least some presence on the Internet.

If you do have old clothes to give away, pop them into a bag and bring them into one of the charity shops in your local town or city. They’re always looking for quality saleable items. Here’s a list of Irish charities if you want to donate money. Some well known and reputable charities include Trocaire (they even have an rss feed!), Bothair and Simon Community.

If you live in the UK, this page has some useful information including how to report a fake charity.

“Do Not Delay” collect money for breast cancer research but you would be better off making a donation to The Irish Cancer Society who will put your donation to good use.

I’ll update this post from time to time with thumbnails and summaries of flyers that hit my door. Check back often!

Just as I was wondering when donotdelay would collect their clothes I spotted an old blue van parked outside. It’s a Dublin reg vehicle and quite old, given that it’s a van and presumably used for business. The reg is “97 D 45516”. I spotted a man in denims walking down the road. He ducked into a house at a corner for a moment then walked up a hill out of sight. I waited a few minutes and he returned with a woman. Both got into the van, drove down to the end of the cul-de-sac and about 5 minutes later drove past again. On closer examination of the photos below I recognised the top of the heart shaped flyer they had in their hands. One was delivered here a few weeks back. I might have it arond here somewhere.

More flyers being handed out

Update: Another blogger received the same flyer. Hopefully someone will search online for “Clothing Collection For Breast Cancer Prevention Programm”.

2006-11-21 – a new leaflet was dropped in the door a few minutes ago. It has an Irish mobile number, 0876815133, and reg. no. 382101. No sign of a charity number.

Not every family in developing countries can afford to buy new, often expensive clothes, footwear and household things.

If you search for their reg no. the first link is a pdf file (view as HTML) from Dublin City Council. Councillor Naoise O’Muiri asked, in a question to the City Manager, if he can

confirm that the following agencies currently engaged in collections in the City Area have all applied for and received Permits: …
“Unwanted Clothing Collection”, no Reg No given, 087 0552513

He replied:

The Collectors referred to by the Councillor do not have a waste collection permit from Dublin City Council.

Chances are they’re collecting ilegally in Cork too.

2006-11-29 – “Thank you for help” – another flyer appeared this morning before 8am, they’re out early! Identifying text includes the above badly constructed sentence and: “we urgently need clothing that you and your family may never wear again” and “Company Reg. Nr. 5655565A”, “Phone: +353851670878” – another mobile number. No landline, address or charity number.

2006-12-05 – “We support Orphanages.” just fell in the door. Here are their details: Reg. no. 9027839, phone 085-1337528. That’s a mobile phone number.

Update! I have set up a new site, Clothingcollection.org where I post details about all the fake charity leaflets I get. I’m sure you’ll recognise a few of them!

Comments

comments

"Do not delay - how to spot a fake charity flyer", 5 out of 5 based on 6 ratings.

207 Replies to “Do not delay – how to spot a fake charity flyer”

  1. Hey Donncha,

    Nice set of information there on the charity scammers. FWIW – An actual friend of mine works for Enable Ireland. They also do these door-to-door collections, dropping bags through letterboxes and collecting them some days later. He has told me that they are finding it increasingly difficult due to the actions of these scumbags. Just last week, they were collecting bags in a particular Cork City suburb, when they were approached by a number of men driving old beat-up transits. These charmers proceeded to slash the tyres of the van used by Enable. They also threatened my friend and the volunteers who accompanied him – telling them ‘This is our effing turf – now eff off’. The nice boys in question were a mix of Corkonian scum, Dublin scum and some foreigners, showing that scumbagetry is an equal opportunities employer.

    Regards,

    Daniel

    1. 11/06/2009

      Just had a sticker from JSD Clothes Collection Appeal. There is no charity registration number, just a phone contact number. I am thinking of stickinging on my household refuse bag and saving cost of refuse collection. Apparently JSD are a clothes recycling company based in the North of Ireland

    2. I checked out JSD they say they are associated with several charities they sponsor and make donations is this the same as actually collecting for the charity. Check out JSD (NI) ltd and let me know if they are geniune please

  2. Thanks for the info. I have received these, I believe (I’m in Dublin 14). Even after reading this I am still finding it hard to believe this actually happens. What do they do with the clothes? I read on one of the links you have there that they sell them to poor people, but where do they sell them? It’s weird to think that there are spammers so desperate they’ll try and rob your old clothes!!

    1. They put them on pallets and ship them off to Africa and Eastern Europe where people are less picky and will happily wear clothing with slight marks etc.

  3. We got one of these flyers here in Bournemouth this week. I am feeling especially miffed because my wife got diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer last week.
    The pick-up date is tomorrow and I will be at work. Otherwise I would keep an eye out for these scum bags and express my opinion in very forthright terms!

    Surprisingly, there is money to be made from 2nd hand clothes. This particular scam was featured in the BBC program “The Real Hustle” where they set up a vintage clothes store. And made a significant amount of money in the process.

  4. Clothes recycling is an industry. Basically the trick is to get as good quality a supply as possible. Then you take out the best stuff to sell on to second-hand clothes merchants, and then move on the rest to the next guy. Then he will filter out the stuff he can sell second-hand in his market (say, Eastern Europe). The next guy down the line will be looking stuff for an even poorer economy. Finally, whatever is left will be sent for shredding. There are rates per tonne for all the different grades, I think.

    It is worth saying that you really should have a waste collection permit to be in this business. The council should prosecute anybody in the game who does not.

  5. I’ve got bad news for you all. These scum bags are part of an international gang who use the leaflets as an excuse to be on the streets and steal from legitimate charities.

    In Wales, England and Scotland I’ve been working for children’s hospitals (Great Ormond Street, Alder Hey, Sheffield and Birmingham Children’s Hosptials) to try and stop the thefts. These hospitals and charities are losing over 2 million GBP a year to these theives – yes that’s over 3 million Euros.

    It’s despicable that they can steal from most sick and seriously ill children.

    We are about to update our website with details but urge the public to carry on giving doorstep donations to REGISTERED and LEGITIMATE charities only.

    If you notice anything suspicious call the police immediately and give the registration number of the theives vehicle.

  6. Well spotted Donncha!

    This subject was featured in the Irish Times a fortnight ago – I suspect it was the same member of Enable staff referenced by Daniel, above, who was interviewed. He mentioned the same experiences; threaths, intimidation, tires slashed….

    Apparently there are a number of criminal gangs at work in Ireland alone (so prsumably a factor of ten again for the UK), and there are more all the time. Competition means violent behaviour towards each other, and legitimate charities get caught in the crossfire. As the lads commented above, the clothes get filtered for locally resaleable, while a lot is ferried and driven to eastern europe, or chucked in a bargain bin. Oddly, they seem to make good money!

    It’s not unheard of for them to use fake charity registration, so it’s worth chasing up, and if possible, get the reg for the gardai if proven false. Does anyone have a link for checking charities Reg numbers? An online resource would be handy for filtering the real from the many fakes.

  7. i have just received a label from “used clothing collection programme”, charity no xn 56712, tel 087 0667323 (from 9.00am till 12.00 noon), is this another con

  8. Wondering about Homeless Orphans in Kenya Used Collection Drive in Bandon, Innishannon and Ballinhassig, Co. Cork on 7th December. Is this a legitmate charity since web site is inaccssible and only mobile phone number with no Charity Reg. No.?

  9. “Do not delay” leaflets reached Headington in Oxford over in England today. The fraudsters are coming back to collect their swag on Monday. I rang Trading Standards immediately. Some of the people who try to collect from our house are legal but deceitful; but this lot don’t sound legal, as they don’t even have a company number.

  10. This semi-literate Lithuanian drivel has fallen through letterboxes in Hampshire, UK. They don’t say they’re a charity, they don’t say they aren’t. I’d be referring them to Trading Standards except they aren’t trading. We receive loads of these kinds of flyer and ignore them but a percentage of folk won’t so that’s how these characters get their clothing for free. Grubby business. I do so hope they knock on my door …..

  11. They reached wokingham in berkshire, england last week, collection tomorrow morning. Unfortunatly they have caught me at a VERY bad time as I have a funeral for someone very close to me who died of cancer a week and a half ago. If I see them, they’ll have a piece of my mind, i don’t no what else to do?Can you call the police on these people?I’m 19…x

  12. A “Do not delay” flier came through my letter box today. I was suspicious because it had no phone number or charity No. Found your website from a search in Google; it contains very useful information. I live about ten miles north of Belfast. Too late to take action today but I’ll be contacting the charities commissioner on Monday.

  13. A ‘do not delay’ flyer came through my door today too. I don’t know why, but I just immediately felt suspicious and googled to find your interesting information. I live outside Belfast too. I will go to all my neighbours tonight to let them know not to leave any clothes out, and keep an eye out for the van which is due to come round on Tuesday.

  14. i live in london and I found this information after this people took my bag away.I am very upset with myself now not to checking fly before. I put the bag inside of my front garden at 7.20am this morning and a white van came around 7.30am even collection time suppose to be at 9.00am. They waited few minutes infront of my garden door. I was thinking why they were waiting for and i felt suspicious. i started to watch them from door drill and try to see any label for breast cancer charity but i could not. I was going to open the door ask them any proof but i scared it was dark and guy was just one step away from my front door. i tried the get the licence plate but i coud not.
    I was realy happy that i was giving my clothes away for good i fell very sad now.

  15. I live in East London, and these flyers have just gone around the block of flats that I live in.

    We’ve had scams like this before, but none of them have stooped so low to take advantage of people’s desire to help breast cancer sufferers. This is pretty sick, in my opinion.

    How can we raise the profile of this scam, so that there’s no chance of anyone ever falling for it? I hate to think that they’re getting away with this.

  16. Hello,
    Maybe do you know some names and contacts to charity organizations from UK or Ireland which organize legally collections distributing their sacks with logo(name) organization not leaflet)? The most interest me organizations which help on example: for children, for children from Chornobyl and different. I don’t know or you know that charitable organizations sell and export used clothes too but they probably really carry help using with got with this sale earnings.
    If can you help me, write here or my email: emka66@hotmail.com , please.

  17. The director and 9 employees of the company that distributes these DO NOT DELAY leaflets were arrested on 15 January for stealing donations from Great Ormond Street children’s Hosptial, Marie Curie Cancer Research and British Heart Foundation.

    Do not delay is the name used on leaflets by a company called Intersecond.

    It appears that these scammers are thieves as well as frauds. If you get one of their leaflets, report it to trading standards and if you see them stealing from other charities, call your local garda or police.

    It is so very sad that these greedy thugs are preying on our charity and the fact we want to help real causes. Don’t let them get away with it. Give your donations to regular charities but watch out for these theieves.

  18. I also received a “breast cancer” leaflet from Intersecond Limited (phone 07983 018041). I reported it to Camden Council, so let’s see what happens.

    Interestingly, most of the locations listed above are from quite affluent areas, which fits with the explanation that these people are going after good quality clothes.

    But the idea of leaving bags of clothes on the doorstep in an inner city area seems daft, and invites theft. We have a very good and well run Oxfam shop in the Kilburn High Road, which is even open on Sunday, so it’s easy enough to take clothes to a charity shop direct.

    We have another organisation that regularly puts out plastic bags for clothes, which is a registered charity – Evergreen Trust reg no 1004289. However, its accounts on the Charity Commission website don’t show much money going to its good causes, and it’s hard to see how a small charity could afford to put out and collect so many plastic bags. I’ve reported them to the Charity Commission but they were not interested.

  19. Thanks for your very clear post on this subject, I’ve added a link to it on a much less coherent post of my own.

    We received flyers earlier this week (N15, north London). A friend of mine has been corresponding with the “donotdelay.org” jokers by email, and they are quite intent upon giving him the runaround when it comes to the question of why they are not registered as a charity in the UK. As we expected, really: “We are a registred company (reg. no. 5713257). We work on behalf of Breast Cancer Prevention Charity ‘Azzara’ and donate money to then on regular basis…. If you require any more information,please go to our website
    http://www.nedelsk.lt“. Even if this website did refer to a real Lithuanian charity, we have no proof that these collectors are associated in any way with them. Anyone could create a website which redirects to the nedelsk.lt site, and claim to be operating on their behalf.

    An interesting follow-up: yesterday was the scheduled collection day by “donotdelay.org” in my neighbourhood. We donated nothing (of course!) but instead received a new flyer (same style/size and semi-glossy paper stock) from the “gentlemen” cruising the street for collections, purporting to be from a different organisation: Orellana Ltd. (a quick google reveals that this name has been associated with the same sort of faux-charitable collections a few months back). Same scam, different flyer.

  20. UPDATE: We received another email from “donotdelay.org”; they claim it is not necessary for them to be registered as a charity in the UK or ROI because Lithuania is now part of the EU. I am quite sure this is not correct but don’t know enough about charity registration to be certain. Just thought I would post it here where some dialogue has occurred.

  21. Hi,
    Thanks for the info.
    I am always wary of these letters that come into my door.
    I live in Galway, and I get different ones every week.
    I check out most of them and I get no information on Google at all.
    When i checked out this “Do not delay” scam, i found this website.
    Im going to go around my area and put my own flyers into peoples mailboxes telling them not to give anything to these cons.
    Thanks for the info.
    Alan

  22. What can we do to bring this to the attention to our local areas?. I received one of these leaflets and it was easy for me to spot that this was a fake but others can’t. What bothers me is that charities are missing out on the clothing that is intended for them.

    Who can we report this to?

    Dan

  23. Donotdelay.org collection bag delivered at my house today, Its now reached South East London!!
    Will put out the bag on Tuesday as directed with the contents of the cat’s litter tray inside.

    Think me and my four sons will stand by with Baseball bats just in case!!
    Sending a Cheque to Royal Marsden Hospital here in london. They I am Sure need the funds!!
    Cheers

  24. This is my first time here. I put in the Company reg no 5655565A and got my confirmation that this is a phoony charity thing. They are around Ashbourne.

  25. Ref no, Nr.5655565A are doing a lot of mail (sticker) drops in Limerick…0851670878…don’t give to them, they’re NOT a registered charity and are well dodgy.

  26. UK Epsom, Surrey.
    Donotdelay.org have leafleted us here. They are due to collect next Tuesday 13th March. Why doesn’t Epsom & Ewell Boro Council catch them redhanded and compound their vehicle??

  27. Re: Dan on Feb 3rd, I’d also like to know who to report it to. I live in Donnybrook, which as many of you may know is quite an affluent area (not for me though, I’m a student!) and we are absolutely inundated with these flyers. Is there an easy way to put a stop to them? I’m not really into the idea of confrontation, obviously, but some of these don’t even have a name or a number of any sort. Just some spiel about helping orphanages, single mothers etc etc. I saw the programme someone mentioned above, ‘The Real Hustle’, on BBC3, and the amount of money these people get away with is shocking. They sell them on as vintage clothing and make a fortune off other people’s good will. Scum!

  28. Do not delay have also reached Lucan. Though I never put bags out, I was going to in this case but something didn’t ring true. It’s a UK phone no (or NI) So glad I looked this up! I’m going to warn my neighbours but what else can we do?

  29. HI I GOT A FLYER.I LIVE IN HORNSEA EAST YORKSHIRE.I PUT CLOTHES OUT BUT THEY NEVER CAME BACK.SO THAT IS WHY I GOT THE EMAIL AND FOUND IT WAS A SCAM.I CARNT BELIVE PEOPLE DO THIS.IT IS A SAD WORLD WE LIVE IN.

  30. SKZ 6037
    BLUE TOYOTA VAN

    The smae thing is in Ardee, Co .Louth, It goes quiet for a few weeks, then I receive 2-3 flyers a week. Often Eastern Europeans, as I have confronted them many times and stopped to record ther reg, and ring the Gardai, who can/will do nothing. These bhoyos dont be long shifting then.

  31. Lower Earley Reading – Do Not delay leaflet left yesterday to be collected tommorrow Friday 20 April – my day off so will keep a look out. Have reported to TV Police and will report to Trading Standards today. 🙂

  32. The “donot delay people” are in Essex. There are so many similar scams that I wonder if they are connected – maybe local “travellers”.

    Personally I would not buy or give anything to anyone who only quotes a mobile number – or at the door full stop. There is a good chance they are on the move and dubious.

    Local charities deserve the items they are looking for rather than these rag and bone men.

    Trading Standards and Local Authorities are unlikely to be interested since the careful wording on the leaflets means they are unliley to be committing an offence (other than not being licensed for collection) any more than the makers of “Utterly Butterly” are in breach of the trades description act. Its all mild deception – irritating rather than criminal.

    Paulatepc

  33. the people that collect these clothes get over 400 euros a ton thats why there are so many collections and slashing of tyres.

  34. I live in Karlstad, Sweden. And I recently got a sticker with the same company Reg. Nr. that you wrote about. I thought it was dodgy, so I googled it and found this.
    So I thought I’d tell you that these creeps are working internationally now. And also, I’ll send a link of this site to some media here in sweden so they can warn ppl about this scam.

  35. They get everywhere. I live in scunthorpe and i’m always getting these leaflets. Today i got one from do not delay breast cancer. THESE PEOPLE HAVE GOT TO BE STOPPED, AND THE MONEY GO TO THE PROPER CHARITY.

  36. I have lived in my house in Limerick (ROI) about 4 months and must have a flyer for every other day I’ve lived here, none of them seem at all legitimate. This sickens me as I know the locals can be very generous and especially members of the older generation who have lived through poverty in the 40s and 50s go out of their way to help the poor. What can the Gardai / police do about this? Other than collecting vehicle regs what can we do? There seems to be a huge amount of it going on here under everyones noses. If there is this much of it surely someone else has noticed? Looks like its time I actually got off the behind and contacted the local paper or the Guards; but to be honest I dont think anyone in authority will be that interested. Worth a try though and many thanks to the rest of you for setting up this information.

  37. We got a flier titled ‘ developing world appeal’ through our letter box. Nothing unusal in that you’d say but it was put through at 4:30 in the morning. I had heard some noise went and checked it out to discover nothing out of order. I was told in the morning that the leaflet put through the letterbox wasnt there the previous night when we went to bed. The noise that woke me wasn’t a simple leaflet through the letter box for sure, I can only imagine that it was someone checking to see if the front door was open – the doors in our estate, like many modern ones, have doors that you can just walk in unless they’re locked with a key.

    It is unfortunate that Enable Ireland, amongst others, are being squeezed out by thugs. I have also heard that most of these dodgey clothes collectors have their final destination of eastern block countries, they make their money. Older leaflets used to mention Africa and 3rd World etc, these only mention Developing countries which basically could be anywhere so no false claim is being made…

    I’m all for helping out so we hold out for the legitmate charities or on occasion drop the stuff into a charity shop in town. I know it’s tempting just to get rid of it to the first person that shows up on the door but you’re funding something dodgey that could go onto something more sinister and affect you r someone you know.

  38. Waterford is sported with many of the fradulent flyers. one such is that with a green and white sticker with reg no. 5655565A and Tel No 0851033456

  39. area around Edinburgh got one of these today – was just checking online about them since having the pink breast cancer ribbon on it makes them even more devious and nasty than the usual lot of scam flyers that get delivered and found your site. well done in publicising it!

  40. I have tried to check this alleged charity online and also their charity number but to no joy i beleive it may be a hoax charity, can anyone confirm this for me please?
    kindest regards,
    Lisa.

  41. I got this flyer in North Lancashire a week ago. The flyer didn’t have stickers, but requested the householder provide their own colection bag (“in an effort to keep costs down”) and attach the paper flyer to it.

    Rang Trading Standards, but I can longer get through to my local Council office, instead I was relayed to a regional call centre who took details, and said they’d pass it on to the relevant department “who may ring you for more info”, which quite predictably never happened. They fobbed me off by suggesting I ring the Charities Commission, which I did, but they could only confirm that donotdelay.org is not a registered charity, although they did say “there was an appeal going through”.

    I checked the registered collector, Intersecond Ltd, at Company House, and their registered address is on the third floor of a prestigious address – New Bond Street in the Mayfair district of London. Googling the address, 13/14, reveals that a couple of jewellers are also resident in that building. Somehow I cannot see a company registered as a Clothing Wholesalers needing to operate from such an expensive rental, but I’m sure they will think it sounds impressive.

    Unfortunately I did not see any collector/vehicle while I was in, or I would have rang the Police with the reg number. The flyer must have been delivered late at night too, I’d picked up a freesheet out of my front porch at 10:30pm on a Friday night and the flyer wasn’t there then, but it was under Saturday morning’s newspaper delivery – I mention this because obviously it sugegsts they deliver the flyers after dark so there’s few witnesses/possible altercations.

  42. Hi I am in Limerick and I can safely say I get at least two of these fraudulent flyers every week it is so frustrating. The flyers are always on the mat when I get up at 7:30 so what the heck time are they delivered – suspicious in its self.
    Just got a green and white one USED, UNWANTED SPARE CLOTHES COLLECTION which has reg number 5655565A but not a charity reg number so I assume it is once again a scam.

    The annoying thing is now I have two bags of goodish clothes to pass on but all the collections are scams, we never seem to have collections from the original trust worthy charities any more.

  43. we got the “donotdelay” fliers last week and some people on the road put bags out. but a few days later the arseholes collectin the bags dumped their van around the corner, took the bags out and just put them in aother van and left! few days later they came back from the wheels, police have been called and still havent done anythin, the van is still sittin around there, and they had the cheek to post more stickers this mornin. scumbags!

  44. Hi guys.

    Seems the clothing collection scam is kicking off again here in Bray County Wicklow Ireland.

    Got a leaflet morning (Wed May 30th) appealing for clothing and textiles.

    I left out some stuff with the idea of seeing who turns up and how much they can tell me about the good work they are doing – once I’ve got some discreet snaps with my Nikon telephoto.

    This time they are calling themselves ‘Christian Charities Used Clothing Collection Programme’.

    Hope this is of help.

    Regards.
    Simon.

  45. I am receiving this type of layout collection notes every 4-6 weeks with a diffrent company no and web address
    I think they are a scam, if you want to donate use the local charity shops.

  46. Excellent article. These sods, or at least some likeminded scum are doing the same thing in Cork. It started about a year back and I see at least 1-2 new stickers through my door each week.

    I spoke to the garda about it and they didn’t seem very interested. It’s up to me to phone the scammers and do the detective work before they’d get involved.

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