Fake charity collectors are operating in Richmondshire using stolen clothing charity bags, it has emerged.
The scam came to light after a Leyburn resident double checked the Leukaemia Care bag was genuine after one was delivered to her home.
She discovered the charity no longer uses charity bags as a fundraiser and had a large quantity of bags stolen.
It is believed rogue collectors got hold of the bags and are now using them to obtain second-hand clothing for profit.
Dozens of the stolen bags full of clothes were left out for the bogus collectors in Leyburn this week, with other areas of the district also understood to have been targeted.
The resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Something made me just double check the charity was ok before I put the clothes out.
“I rang the charity and sent them photos of the bag and it’s packaging.
“They confirmed they are fraudulent and that they haven’t done doorstep collections since September.
“Apparently it’s a bit of a problem in our area and not just this charity but others that have had their bags copied too.
“It’s just such a shame that the genuine charities are missing out and people are filling the bags in the belief that they’re helping a good cause.”
In a statement on its website, the charity said collectors using their bags were not genuine and anything donated would not go towards supporting Leukaemia Care, which is a genuine charity.
The charity said in the statement: “Unfortunately, a van containing our charity bags was stolen and we believe some bags have been dumped and some are being used to conduct bogus collections.
“This has been reported to the police and we are monitoring the situation.”