Charity - a step too far?

Outside Sainsburys yesterday I got chatting to a nice man from the Air Ambulance Charity who was outside the store persuading customers to give something to help the charity.

He asked me if I’d be interested in purchasing a lottery ticket.
As it’s a charity I support I got my purse out straight away to buy a lottery ticket from him.

‘Oh no’ he said ‘I don’t want your money, I would like you to make a standing order just for One ticket or two, on a regular monthly basis. They’re only a pound each.’

I said ‘But you’d need my bank details for that’ He said ‘Yes well you’ve just been shopping, haven’t you got you card on you’

I thought about it & decided I wasn’t going to stand outside a supermarket giving my card details to a charity collector. I said to him ‘Sorry but I don’t like this idea’

He said ‘During the panademic it was this that kept us going’ I told I was sorry again but no & walked away.

It’s a charity I support but I think this was going a step too far…

I wonder if they actually got any shoppers to sign up.

Would you have done?

Sounds like he is taking advantage of folks with a kind heart to access bank info. Smells of a scam to me, too, Carol. You did well to walk away.


It’s like those ads which say call up and give £5 to xyz
Except they mean £5 a month and don’t want a one off donation .


No, Carol, you did the right thing!

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As I do with all those ‘chuggers’ and tell them a very blunt NO! A £1 into a shaken tin is one thing, but my bank details are my business and I’m ultra careful where I place them.

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I wouldn’t give my bank details to someone standing in the Street no matter what the charity was…I’m surprised anyone would. You did the right thing walking away


Most charities are doing this now because they know if you set up a small monthly payment to them you are less likely to cancel the payment. Look at all the TV ads for charities, that tell you a child’s life could be saved for £3 a month, and they let you do it via your mobile phone. I always wonder how many people don’t realize that it these payments often authorize regular monthly payments !
I would never give my bank details to a stranger, no matter which charity he supports… they can always give me direct debit form to return to their head office when I have signed it.
Did you know that banks now send a password via your mobile , or leave password on your landline , because online purchases with your card will not be approved if you dont use this password?
There are fraudsters everywhere… so trust noibody !

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You absolutely did the right thing Carol. About 15 years ago I went to our local CoOp. Just inside the door was a man who stopped me and asked if I wanted to help a charity which provided holidays for disabled kids and their families.

As it was something close to my heart I asked if it was local and a few more questions. He was very cagey and vague about where these holidays were taken and I also thought he looked very shabby and he stunk of cigarette smoke. He grudgingly gave me a tiny piece of paper with their charity name on (which I asked for). He then said “you’re asking lots of questions. Why don’t you just give me a donation.” I said I would consider it. I came straight home and googled the “charity” and discovered links to various national newspapers saying they were dodgy and found an ancient photo of a rickety old caravan they had in the Lake District. Some people had been sentenced for collecting money for this bogus charity. I could not find a single positive thing or review from parents about them.

I went back to the shop and told him I would not be donating as it was a scam and he turned really nasty and said “I have your registration number and you had better watch out because I won’t forget you”. He was really threatening.

I rang the Charity Commission and told them my story and although they were registered there was no evidence that they had provided any such holidays and a few weeks later they were struck off the register. I also phoned the CoOp HQ and told them as it happened in their store and reminded them that charity collectors are only allowed to stand outside the door not inside. It transpired that he asked to come inside because it was raining!

A lot of these store managers are so busy that they do not check the credentials of these “charities” but all charities have to get permission from the local police to stand and do a collection.

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That is truly shocking @Flowerpower and good on you for dealing with it as you did!

@carol I would have done exactly as you did. No way would I give my bank details to someone standing in a shop doorway, no matter what ID they show me.

I think the reasons for this way of collecting is twofold: a) as others have said, and I believe this is the main reason, it secures a regular payment which most people will neglect to cancel, so the charity gets a guaranteed income stream; b) it stops the unscrupulous charity collectors from pocketing some of the money collected. Yes, of course, the collection boxes are sealed, but there was always a potential for theft.

Also, do you remember people coming to your door with little brown collection envelopes? Asking you to put in what you could and seal and return it to them, either then or the next day? There was absolutely nothing to stop these people keeping back a few of the envelopes for themselves, was there? I’m not saying they did, but maybe the charities they collected for recognised the potential for fraud and wanted to close that loophole.

in short, the answer is no I wouldn’t

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I don’t even like doing direct debits to reputable companies if there is any other way. The only DD’s on my account are BT for landline and broadband, and Yorkshire water who take out what I owe them once per year, and my telly licence…Who also take it out in one lump once per year. Only because I’d forget to pay if they didn’t. I know what some members think about the telly licence, but I don’t use the internet for catch up or any other streaming service, when its gone its gone as far as I’m concerned. And apart from the news, dancing on Ice etc, Eastenders, David bloody Attenborough and Lefty comedy shite, there is still some good stuff on the beeb…

I am very careful and particular who I give money to. Any form of emotional blackmail and I will instantly walk away, as I will if I start to get phone calls/emails/texts about trying to increase my donation and try to virtually “blackmail” me to part with my money. There are a lot of charities out there doing some amazing work, others are simply trying their best to take from you and are paying their own staff ridiculous salaries with only a tiny amount of your donation actually ending up towards their cause.


You did the right thing, Carol…I would never give my bank details to a random stranger, no matter the “cause”. Once they get into your bank you can never shake them off. I know someone who got involved with Oxfam and ended up paying about £30 a month, when they signed up for only £5!

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They do keep asking .
I have given donations one off to various charities in the past and they are still calling me up and sending me emails.

Yes Pixie, my friend got caught out like this, with the RSPCA.

In the end she told them if they ask her once more to increase her D/D, she will cancel it altogether.
They asked again, so she cancelled.

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Did she manage to cancel without any hassle, Mups? They can be like little terriers and simply not let you go without a fight!

I believe so, Pixie.
If you instruct your bank not to pay a certain d/d anymore, the payments will be stopped.

I visited my 93 year old Aunt recently. She showed me a pile of letters she had received that day. It was all charities requesting donations. I was shocked. She is a lovely lady and everso kind so had donated a few years ago to a couple of charities and now it’s an avalanche!

She thinks they pass her details on to other charities. I told her to get her adult sons to deal with it. If it was my Mum I would deal with it straight away.

I know she has always given the parish priests generous gifts at Xmas and Easter and that surprised me too as she is not wealthy by any means but puts money aside for them.

I had a similar experience. There was a man collecting for Guide Dogs outside our local supermarket. I got a couple of £s to give to him but he said he couldn’t take cash. It was the same thing as you found, he wanted me to sign up for a standing order. I said that I was a pensioner with a limited income and I support 2 charities but couldn’t take on any more financial commitments

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I read somewhere that it costs something in the region of £10-15k for an air ambulance to turn out.