EAST Lancashire residents have been warned to be extra vigilant when giving to charity during the remainder of Ramadan, and at Eid.

Blackburn councillor Shaukat Hussain has advised people to make sure that collectors have a registered charity number, and appropriate permission from the council if they are collecting in public.

He said: “I’m just warning people to be extra vigilant, and to err on the side of caution.

“A lot of people give to charity during the month of Ramadan and a lot of people are asking for donations.

“There are appeals on all the Asian TV channels, and on the radio, and there are people out collecting.

“Most of them I’m sure are really good causes, but I’d just ask people to check that the charity is registered, to make sure they’re bonafide, and have proper permission.”

Burnley councillor Shah Hussain said he was not aware of any problems with bogus collections this year, but that it had been an issue in the past.

He said: “We have had that in the past, whereby unscrupulous people have been collecting money and it’s not really accountable as to where it’s going.

“I think the majority of people are aware, but I would say we have some very good well-known local charities, and I would be wary of giving to organisations that you haven’t heard of before.”

The Charity Commission has also been running a campaign urging people to check before they give to charity this Ramadan.

Sarah Atkinson, Head of Information and Communications at the Charity Commission said: "We know that many people will be giving very generously during Ramadan, and we want to help these donors ensure their funds go where they are intended. While most fundraising appeals are genuine, there are sadly people who exploit the generosity of others for their own gain."

Dr Hany El-Banna, Chairman of the Muslim Charities Forum said: "We want every single penny of people's generous donations this Ramadan to reach genuine registered charities. So I welcome this campaign."

A spokesman for Lancashire Police urged people to be vigilant and urged anyone with concerns to contact them on 101.