Paul Hughes, spokesperson for the Irish Charity Shops Association, said that "millions of euros worth of donations intended for registered charities are being stolen or fraudulently solicited from the public every year by Bogus Collectors and Bogus Charity Shops. These parasites are misleading the public who donate clothes and other unwanted items in the belief that they are supporting legitimate charities."

In 2011 an Irish Charity Shops Association survey found that in the previous two years over €11 million worth of donations had been lost to bogus collectors. That money could have made such a difference for so many marginalised people.

"To ensure that your donation is going to make a difference, make sure that you donate to a registered charity", said Trevor Anderson of Oxfam Ireland. "They're easy to spot; from Friday 15th March legitimate charity shops will have the Choose Charity Shops 1st logo in the window and you can be sure that what you donate will make a real difference in a deserving person's life."

To find a legitimate charity shop near you go to www.icsa.ie/shops. There you can choose the charity that you want to support safe in the knowledge that it is a registered charity operating in a responsible and transparent manner.

For more information please contact info@icsa.ie or 085 8556819