As the New Year begins, many UK charities will set their goals to increase their level of fundraising success. And while a number of organisations have turned to collecting used stamps for their fundraising efforts, the Charity Commission has recently issued an Alert for charities to be aware of the potential for charity scam practices.
Stamp fraud is known as the preparation, distribution & sales of used stamps for reuse as valid postage- typically sold online at a reduced price. The Charity Commission’s alert said that charities may be unintentionally enabling this form of charity scam by selling packages of used stamps to those who claim to be collectors, but are actually criminals.
In order to avoid stamp fraud:
- Be wary of odd requests- If an individual wants to purchase stamps from your charity in bulk or makes requests for specific stamps (eg ‘non value indicator’ stamps), this could be a red flag. Genuine collectors typically trade among themselves.
- Use a trusted seller—When purchasing stamps for your charity, be sure to use a reputable seller, such as the Post Office. Do not accept stamps sold at a discounted price.
- Report suspicious behavior— If someone attempts to engage in some form of stamp fraud with your charity, decline their request and report this behavior to Royal Mail.
Beyond taking these preventive steps, it is important to ensure that you are properly covered should a charity scam occur. Contact the insurance professionals at ThirdSectorProtect for more information about removing charity risk with insurance. For additional information on identifying and handling charity fraud, read another of our blog posts: Charity Fraud: Five common types & how to prevent them.