Illegal money collection campaigns - Police
Laittomat rahankeräykset - ENG
Illegal money collection campaigns
Has someone asked you to donate money or are you otherwise thinking about donating? Never donate anything to a money collection until you have ensured that their campaign is legitimate!
Ask for the organiser’s permit number or small-scale money collection number; only legitimate money collectors will be able to provide these. Legitimate money collectors will always disclose at least the following information in connection with their money collection:
• Identity of the organiser.
• Cause for which funds are being raised.
• Permit number or small-scale money collection number.
You can tell the difference between a legitimate collection and illegal activity by looking out for this information. You should usually be able to find it either on the collection box or in the collection list. Any requests for donations posted on the internet should have the information visible on the same page.
There are plenty of other ways in which money collection campaigns can be run, and donations can be asked in a number of ways. The key criterion is that the public understand that they are being asked to donate money. Appeals for donations do not need to be commanding or active to fulfil the definition of money collection. Requests for contributions or other forms of financial support can also constitute money collection. Regardless of the method of money collection used, the organiser must always have their permit number or small-scale money collection number available to give to the public.
You can also contact the competent permit authority (the National Police Board or the local police department) to satisfy yourself of the accuracy of the information provided. If you suspect that a money collection does not have a permit or the validity of the permit is questionable, you should check with the National Police Board. Information about money collection permits and small-scale money collections is also published on this website.
Why is the money collection permit number or small-scale money collection number so important?
A money collection permit number or a small-scale money collection number lets the public know that the authorities are aware of their campaign. In practice, this also means that the authorities will, for example, track the correct use of the funds raised by checking the money collector's accounting and annual reports.
You should never make donations to money collectors who are unable to provide a money collection permit number or a small-scale money collection number, as you could be giving your money to a fraudster. If you do donate money to an illegal money collection campaign, you only have the organiser’s word that the funds raised will be used as promised.
Responsible money collectors are always able to answer questions about, for example, the cause supported by their campaign and to provide a money collection permit number or a small-scale money collection number.
What should I do if I suspect that a money collection campaign is illegal?
You can ask the organiser of the campaign for their permit number or small-scale money collector's number if you cannot find the information yourself. If the money collector is unable to provide the information, you could be dealing with an illegal money collection campaign. If this appears to be the case, contact your local police department.
Running a money collection campaign without a money collection permit or without filing a small-scale money collection notice is a criminal offence. There are only a few special circumstances in which a permit or a notice is not required. Of these exceptions, only election money collection campaigns can be run online.