General discussion

Is a scam?

Aug 2, 2011 5:43AM PDT

Sorry to ask this here and if you think it is inappropriate I will delete. I have also alerted Lee in case he thinks it is.

I'm posting for two reasons;

1] To ask, and

2] No messing, to get this into Google for others to see because I can find nothing else about it.

Is a scam?

In the UK households regularly receive through the letter box simple printed plastic bags for collection of unwanted household or personal goods. Such things as clothes, bedding, towels, cuddly toys and so on, for charities. I don't know if you get the same in the US.

Fill the bag, leave them outside the front door on some day written in felt tip on the bag, and it is collected.

I normally throw the bags away. I give to charity my own way. But it is a lucrative source of free goods for charities here and "Registered Charities" do well.

I received this one today and it immediately caught my eye. Sorry, no images of it, but the first image in the link below shows the type I mean;

This one says;

Dear Householder - New Project needs your support.
Collecting to support our local Schools

WE COLLECT: Ladies, Gents & Children's Clothing, paired shoes, handbags, belts, Bath & hand towels, Bedding & curtains, Cuddly toys, Underwear... THANK YOU


Clickable link -

I have double checked the name.

No charity registration no. No Company Registration no.

This is what I get when I go to

This is the details of the company "ABC VARA Ltd";
(Information extracted from Companies House, the UK registration authority for all UK based businesses).

That web site shows ABC Vara Ltd was established 6/29/2011

Charity Commission search of abc-vara finds no results

I did see one reference to an ABC Group in Google, but nothing to do with abc-vara.

I'm saying this is a scam. There are a number of such scams going around here, and I think this is one of them.

Trouble is, it doesn't say it is a registered charity on the plastic bag, so it is not misrepresenting that, and in fact it doesn't even say it is doing this for non-profit.

Many of these sell the collected goods on for profit. Some 'claim' to sell them on to needy 3rd world countries, but it is still selling, not giving. But the collection bags are so designed to mimic responsible charities and this fools people into giving.

Our "Local Schools" are doing quite well. I didn't realise they were in need of charitable goods such as underwear. If they were collecting goods to sell on for revenue, I would have heard about it.

Do you get these in the US, and if so, do you also get the scam ones?

It's small time perhaps, for individual households, but it is big business for the businesses.


Discussion is locked

Reply to: Is a scam?
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Is a scam?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
(NT) Sounds like a scam
Aug 2, 2011 6:01AM PDT
- Collapse -
I've reported it
Aug 2, 2011 8:14PM PDT

to an online Fraud reporting site we have in the UK.


- Collapse -
Don't know about the UK but, in the US,
Aug 3, 2011 7:51AM PDT

donations to qualified charities are tax deductible. The Internal Revenue Service does have a listing somewhere of charities and non-profit institutions that meet the necessary standard that allow donors to claim tax deductions. I'm fairly certain these charities have a unique identification # as well. There are several organizations that have regular pickups of household items, clothing etc. They don't provide bags, however. In any event, if you're allowed tax deductions for charitable giving, your tax collection system might have something similar to qualify charities as legit.

- Collapse -
Similar here
Aug 3, 2011 8:34PM PDT

Companies can claim tax relief, but individual persons can donate the tax they would have paid on their donation over to the charities as well. Called "Gift Aid".

All charities have to be registered with the Charities Commission, and all businesses have to be registered with Companies House.

This organisation is not a registered charity, so is not a charity. It is registered as a business, but was only created in June this year, so it's highly suspicious to me.

Like I said, I've reported them now. Happy


- Collapse -
Ah, yes...the business charity
Aug 3, 2011 8:49PM PDT

You may have something that's becoming more common here. Many charities seem to have outsourced their fundraising departments and use professionals to do the soliciting. I also think there are some businesses that do this on their own even if not approached by a charity to hire them on. The worst ones here seem to be the ones that know how to pull on people's heartstrings. Another almost uses intimidation. These are the ones that claim to represent police and sheriff's departments and our highway patrol (state police). Many of these are known to actually turn over a very small percentage of what's contributed to the organization they claim to represent. We have some sort of law here that requires charities to disclose, upon request, what percent of one's donation can be expected to go to that charity. I don't know if they will actually reveal the truth or not.

- Collapse -
Scam or no scam
Jan 11, 2012 7:58PM PST

I am trying to find the same answer as I have just received one of these bags, I do note that it is clearly marked that ABC-VARA is a comercial company, the goods are sold abroad and 70% of profit goes to our schools, to me this sounds to good to be true, or this company has very low operating costs, I see in Google Earth that the company address is a bungalow in the middle of a housing estate, this may mean nothing, but doubts still persist, as I have not heard of abc-vara before I am giving this one a MISS.

- Collapse -
Jan 11, 2012 8:01PM PST

unless they've changed since last year, I would still regard them as a scam.

They are not a registered charity, (or were not last year), and for me that says everything. I will give to charity and I do give to charity. But I will not give to so-called organisations like this to help them line their own pockets.


- Collapse -
Another paranoid thought to add
Jan 11, 2012 8:21PM PST

Would it not make sense that bogus charities who collect from porches and doorsteps this way could be profiling households for other purposes? Could they be looking for safe places to rob or burglarize? What might it tell a robber if no male clothing or smaller sized male clothing was found? What about pet items? Might there be a dog to deal with?

You didn't hear Paul Harvey in the UK but he'd often have some such news item and preface the story with something like. "Just so you won't run out of things to worry about...." Happy

- Collapse -
It's good to be paranoid
Jan 11, 2012 8:37PM PST

and I wouldn't put it past these people to be doing that.


- Collapse -
me no speak english
Feb 11, 2012 11:53PM PST

i was in my office at home working on computer man came into my culdisac giving out nice charity bags to fill with clothes for abc vara charity then i see him walk of funny round corner then nice neighbour ring my door bell ask me if i have car battery in porch i said yes she said no nice man walking up road with it under his coat i give chase catch him up road shout at him want to beat him but he is old man so i say i want my barrery back he stole from me he look at floor try to walk away then he tell me no speak english i let him go then get charity bag of neighbour call them to report him answer machine so email them waiting for reply. p m s l lol So the morral of this story in this world where every one of us is struggling to earn a living in these hard times nice man comes from foreign land compliments of great britain gets a job on minimal wage plus benefits for him and his family delivering bags for this strange charity when lots of british people are out of work and steal your ******* belonging from silly English man then he say no ******* English pmsl the ****. Thats why are country is going to the dogs ****** be ware like mark said its a scam.

CNET Forums

Forum Info