Warning after people pretending to be charity workers asking for money on doorsteps in Northamptonshire

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A warning has been issued by police after reports of people claiming to be charity workers knocking on doors and forcing people to sign up to direct debits.

Officers have been contacted by a number of Corby residents who have had people knocking at their doors claiming to be from a charity and pressuring them to sign-up on their doorstep.

A police spokesman said: “Genuine charity callers should not pressurise people into signing up to direct debits and can be reported to the charity concerned if they do so.

“If someone knocks at your door and you don’t think they are from a genuine charity, you can report them to the Charity Commission.

“Remember, you don’t have to answer your door if you are not expecting any callers or if you don’t recognise the person on your doorstep.”

Following the warning, police have issued some information about protecting yourself against charity donation fraud:

- Genuine charities are registered with the Charity Commission and print their registration details on all documentation, collection bags, envelopes etc

- Check these details exist and also contact the Charity Commission to confirm they are authentic

- You can call them on their helpline 0845 300 0218 or by visiting charity-commission.gov.uk, where they have an online charity register

- As well as identity documents, people collecting money for a genuine charity must carry documents from the charity confirming they are collecting legitimately

- Ask to see these documents and check the details

- If the collection is for a charity you know is genuine, check the collection is authorised by asking the charity directly, using contact details from the phone book or a website that you know is genuine

- Contact your local authority or police to check whether the collector has been given a licence to collect

- Watch out for poor grammar and spelling in emails and other documents, including collection envelopes

- Send your donation to the charity directly

- This may mean going to a little more trouble, but at least you can be sure your donation will get to where it’s intended

- Don’t be afraid to close your door on someone you don’t want to engage with if they are not taking no for an answer