BOGUS charity collectors are calling door to door across Cork looking for clothing, handbags and bed linen.
The individuals are claiming to be collecting for SOSchildren.ie.
Brendan Dempsey, a volunteer with the Society of Saint Vincent De Paul, said anything collected by bogus companies takes from the charities who are working at the coalface.
“It is continuous, it happens all year round, but it does get worse at Christmas. At Christmas, it is a bigger problem because people feel generous at Christmas and it is easier to get things. They are preying on people’s goodwill.”
Mr Dempsey also said he had recent reports of young children going door to door selling raffle tickets for SVP, which is something the charity doesn’t do.
Crosshaven Fianna Fáil Councillor Audrey Buckley said that the bogus charity collectors called to her door and left a branded plastic bag to be filled with items.
Mrs Buckley said she called the number on the bag and was put through to a volunteer who said he fields calls from four different charities, two registered, two unregistered, for free.
The Fianna Fáil Councillor reported the issue to charity regulator who told her report it to the Gardaí.
“The Gardaí told me it is a constant battle and it has been going on for years,” Mrs Buckley said.
“A lot of people don’t care if the charity is legitimate or not. They just want to get rid of stuff, but a lot of people want to give away things that will help others.
“It really irks me because people are so distrusting to charities now and this isn’t helping.”
Mrs Buckley said she thought the charity regulator should have its own investigator that works with the Gardaí to stop bogus charity collecting.