Midlothian residents are being urged to remain Scam Aware after it emerged that fake charity bag collectors have targeted areas inside the county over the past fortnight.
Masquerading as collecting on behalf of Leukaemia Care, the bogus collectors have been distributing cloned bags in the EH18, EH19 and EH22 postcode areas in an attempt to obtain donated clothing.
The situation has been made more confusing, as genuine Leukaemia Care bags have been distributed in Midlothian around the same time.
While the cloned bags claim all funds generated by donations will be used directly to support Leukaemia Care, the charity has no knowledge or involvement in the process and therefore will not benefit. Genuine donation bags have a specific helpline number and an e-mail address printed on the cover in black, the fake bags have a mobile number printed in red and no e-mail.
Midlothian Council’s Trading Standards department and Police Scotland have been alerted to this illegal activity and enquiries are ongoing.
Councillor Jim Bryant said: “This is a very serious issue and one that won’t be tolerated in Midlothian; using the pretence of collecting for a charity such as Leukaemia Care and then using the proceeds for personal gain is inexcusable and intolerable.
“Midlothian Council urges all residents to carefully inspect any charity bags requesting donations and if there are any doubts over their validity to contact our Trading Standards department.”
If you have any queries about the authenticity of charity bag collectors in Midlothian or any other similar matter then residents are encouraged to contact the Trading Standards department on 0131 271 35 49 or via email TradingStandards@midlothian.gov.uk.