Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Monday, 13 April 2009 16:36 UK

Probe into 'fake' clothing groups

Trading standards officers have started an investigation into reports of bogus door-to-door charity clothing collections in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire County Council said it had been contacted by people with concerns about groups purporting to be working for a charity.

It said "unscrupulous collectors" cost charity shops across the country at least £1m a year in lost revenue.

Residents have been asked to report suspect callers to the council.

The council said: "These types of collections, whether by commercial organisations or bogus collectors claiming to be from charities, also contribute to a reduced level of donations to charity shops."

Councillor Brandon Eldred, cabinet member for community safety, said: "We are asking anyone who receives any leaflets or collection bags from charities that they feel unsure about to get in touch with trading standards so that they can use this information to find out more about this activity."

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