RESIDENTS are being warned about “dubious” charity collection envelopes being put through letter boxes in Colchester.

The council has received complaints from residents in the Berechurch area, who have all received cash envelopes from alleged charities.

However, the numbers on the envelopes do not relate to any registered charity, and instead are all registered at Companies House.

Simon Harvey, Colchester Council’s licensing manager, said: “These residents were concerned as to whether the envelopes were genuine and it would appear they were quite right in having concerns.”

Mr Harvey said initial investigations revealed one charity linked only to a makeshift Facebook website, while the others traced back to registered companies.

He was quick to point out these companies may have genuine links with the charities, but advised residents to be aware of fraudsters. He said: “I’m not saying the money won’t be passed on to charities, but from the descriptions we were given, the impression is they are from a charity, when clearly they are not.

“Our advice is only to give to registered charities and if you are unsure, then always check first and give later.”

Anyone with any doubts can call the council’s licensing department for advice and information on 01206 282222.