Bogus charity collectors on the rise in Birmingham

By on 13/07/2011 in News

Birmingham Trading Standards is warning householders to be vigilant when leaving clothes for charity recycling collections as bogus operators are on the rise. 

One team operating under the name of Mistral Import Export Ltd, is making a lucrative business by appealing to kind-hearted people who leave clothing collection for charity.  Charity scammers have discovered that collecting in this way is a steady cash stream, and claim to give the proceeds of the collections to charities. 

Mistral Import Export Ltd is operating with a dissolved company number not a registered charity number.  The team behind the name are involved in dropping leaflets to residential addresses, asking for unwanted items to be left in bags outside the property for collection, and purport the money will help people in third world countries. 

Cllr Neil Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee, said: “These people are not operating legitimately and are misleading the public into thinking their unwanted items are being put to good use. 

“This activity is deceit.  They are robbing genuine charitable organisations of their donations. 

“In the current economic climate, legitimate charities are feeling the pinch and bogus collections are further compounding the situation, which means those that are truly in need may not receive the help they require.”

Birmingham Trading Standards is advising people to look for the Mistral Import Export Ltd name on leaflets that drop through their letterbox, and where possible, to take unwanted clothes into a charity shop where they can be officially received. 

Vehicle registration numbers and descriptions of people involved in Mistral Import Export Ltd, should be directly reported to Birmingham Trading Standards by calling 0121 303 6031 or by emailing Trading Standards at  

Birmingham Trading Standards has had several complaints about the activities of this scam and takes these matters very seriously.  The Standards team work closely with the police to carry out intensive investigations to track down groups behind illegal schemes.  Shared intelligence with other Trading Standards Services across the UK serve as a cross functional operation to catch those involved in illegal activity.


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