Cllr Hussain has urged Muslims to only hand over their charitable donations to registered organizations and check background of charities before handing over
The warning came as the month of Ramadan got underway during which Muslims will be obliged to support a range of causes.
The warning calls the attention of Muslims worldwide to several reports of fake appeals on social media to help those affected by the disaster in Turkey and Syria.
Regulators this month issued advice to remind people to make checks, ensuring their donations reach registered charities so that they won’t be defrauded of their donations by dubious individuals.
Darwen Councillor Shaukat Hussain said he had become concerned over the number of people who were still not checking the background of charitable campaigns.
He said: “During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are reminded to be generous and increase their charitable activities. As a result, during Ramadan, much charitable giving is done by the community. Donations are usually focused on giving to those stricken by poverty and hunger. This then prompts many Organizations and individuals to be seeking for charity ,though some are genuine but some are not therefore I’m advising people to check out the organization or people they wish to donate to and observe due diligence before donating.”
Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: “British Muslims are immensely generous in their support for good causes, especially during Ramadan.
“It’s vital that generosity reaches those in desperate need – whether here at home, in Turkey and Syria, or around the world. By following a few simple checks, donors can continue giving to registered charities with confidence.”
Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator said: “The British Muslim community are incredibly generous.
“This generosity enables charities both at home and abroad to undertake crucial work impacting those that need it most. By carrying out a few simple checks you can make sure that you are giving to a genuine cause and that your generously donated money reaches its intended destination.”
Fadi Itani, chief executive of the Muslim Charities Forum said: “Giving to others holds spiritual significance in Islamic teachings, however this goodwill can sometimes be taken advantage of for selfish gains and reasons.
“Donors must check carefully and give to only registered charities that specialise in the cause, are present in afflicted areas, and who offer regulated and secure donation methods. This will ensure that funds can have the most impact in changing and saving the lives of others.”
Simple checks to make before donations:
• Check the charity’s name and registration number on the Charity Register at www.gov.uk/checkcharity – most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered.
• Make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information.
• Be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them.
• Contact or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to understand how they are spending their funds
• Look out for the Fundraising Badge – the logo that says ‘registered with Fundraising Regulator’ – and check the Fundraising Regulator’s Directory of organisations which have committed to fundraise in line with the Code of Fundraising Practice.
• A face-to-face collector should have a licence from the relevant Local Authority Licensing team.
Lancashere Telegraph / Zainab .Y. Hamza