News

ARE THEY LEGAL?

The Commissioner of Charities (COC) has received feedback twice last year about teenagers claiming to represent Build A Smile Foundation and selling items to the public.

The spokesman for the COC's office said these teenagers had claimed it was to benefit the underprivileged. The spokesman said: "(Engaging in) bogus fund-raising activities is tantamount to cheating and is a crime."Here are some ways to tell true from false:

CHARITY FUND-RAISERS

WHO: These are people authorised by registered charities to collect donations on their behalf.

They can be part of the charity organisation, or staff from a company that has been hired by charities to collect donation on their behalf.

HOW TO TELL: They have a licence issued by either the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) or the police.

HOW PEOPLE CAN CHECK:

  • Text "FR
    " to 79777 to find out whether the NCSS/ police licence number is valid.
  • Scan the QR code on the permit, which goes directly to an online search facility of fund-raising permits approved by NCSS.

DIRECT SELLERS

WHO: They do not collect for charity, but sell things to you on the streets for profit. They are not allowed to say they are raising funds for charities.

HOW TO TELL: They have a licence from the National Environment Agency (NEA) or a special logo on the business card.

HOW PEOPLE CAN CHECK:

*They show an A4-size street hawking licence from NEA.

*Have a Direct Selling Association of Singapore (DSAS) logo on the business card if seller is a DSAS member.

TOUTS/ SCAMMERS

WHO: They claim funds go to charity, but have no licence or a fake licence.

HOW TO TELL: Unless they have the permit stated in (1) or (2), they are selling things illegally.

If you suspect a fraudulent case, lodge a police report.

- Koh Hui Theng