Woman knocking on someone's doorstep

SINGAPORE: Singapore is witnessing growing concerns over door-to-door charity solicitations. One social media user expressed concern as a teenage girl who asked for charity on her doorstep told her, ‘most people contribute $30.’

She posted on Complaint Singapore, asking, ‘Is door-to-door charity legal in Singapore?’: “Today, I was relaxing at home when suddenly, the doorbell rang. I peered through the peephole and spotted an individual in a blue and white school uniform waiting outside my door. Upon opening the door, I discovered a teenage girl, possibly in her sec 3 or 4, holding a clipboard and a transparent pouch containing numerous ten-dollars notes.”

She added that she didn’t even have the time to talk, saying, “Before I could even inquire, the girl launched into a lengthy spiel, explaining that she represented a reputable charity (pointing to her ID, which displayed her NRIC), and she was soliciting donations for a youth community development initiative.”

She continued noting, “Everything seemed routine until she mentioned, ‘Most people contribute $30, but no worries, it’s just a suggested amount, as long as it’s in multiples of $10 notes.'” This statement raised a red flag for me. Politely, I declined her request, explaining that I wasn’t interested, and she walked away with an irritated expression on her face.”

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The anonymous person who shared the story on Complaint Singapore also took her story to Redditors and asked, ‘May I know if this is legit and if I should just ignore their door call next time?’

A Redditor claimed it’s legal but should not come with obligations: “Yes, it’s legal (some have QR codes for you to check on license). But no obligations. I don’t like it when they force you to donate a minimum amount.”

Another Redditor named subzephyr warned not to donate when approached this way. He shared how she would know if the charity is legit, saying: “Do NOT donate. Ask for their details. Check with the Charity Portal on the spot. It’s a very simple search box on charities.gov.sg

Charity Portal Singapore
Photo: Charity Portal, Singapore Government Agency Website

If you wish to report a concern about a charity or fund-raiser, you can email mccy_charities@mccy.gov.sg.

As Charity Portal receives the complaint, the course of action is determined by the specifics of each case:

  1. Investigation: The Commissioner of Charities or Sector Administrators may launch an inquiry.
  2. Direct Contact: The public can engage directly with the charity or another public agency like the Singapore Police Force.
  3. Suspicious Transactions: Report any suspicious transactions or suspected terrorist financing activities to the Suspicious Transactions Reporting Office (STRO) within the Commercial Affairs Department.