THE Penny Dinners charity is warning the public to be wary of scammers pretending to be collecting on behalf of Cork charities.
Penny Dinners coordinator Catriona Twomey described the racket as an “organised" crime.
The fraudsters are wearing t-shirts with the words ‘please support the homeless’ printed across the front.
Ms Twomey said the bogus collections are happening more and more often.
“We want to make people aware that this is ongoing. People see the t-shirts and assume they are genuine," she said.
If the collectors don’t have a permit, no one should be contributing, she said.
“We don't do collections. There is nobody collecting for us but when asked who they are collecting for these people say Penny Dinners along with the other big charities," she said.
“People are very kind but they need to pay attention. Just because they are wearing t-shirts does not mean they are genuine. Please ask for ID and to see a permit," she added.
The bogus group was spotted changing coins for notes in a number of shops and garages around the city.
The incident has been reported to the Gardaí.