The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has published advice on how people can give safely to charity during the Olympic Games.
It says that, with an estimated 1.2 million visitors coming to the UK for the Games during July and August, the period provides an excellent opportunity for charities to demonstrate the work that they do to many people. Equally it is an opportunity for criminals to take advantage of the public's and visitors' generosity.
Consequently it has advised people to check if the charity they are donating to is registered and to follow its safer giving advice. This covers giving cash to public collections as well as other fundraising methods, including giving online and giving in response to TV appeals.
Michelle Russell, Head of Investigations & Enforcement at the Charity Commission said: "Visitors to London during the Olympics wishing to donate money to charities should ensure that charities are registered with the Charity Commission. Our online register of charities makes it easy for people to check whether an organisation is a registered charity and that its registered number is valid before giving.”
"The Charity Commission is also urging any organisations which are charitable and are required to register to do so online on the Charity Commission’s website and reminding registered charities who are fundraising during this period to ensure they comply with the legal and good practice requirements."
Stephen Harrison, Chief Executive, National Fraud Authority added: "We would encourage anyone who has been a victim, or who has information about a fundraising scam, to report this activity to Action Fraud, the national fraud and internet crime reporting service."