A warning has been issued by trading standards after households in Chorley were canvassed by bogus 'charity clothing' collectors.

Homes throughout the town received flyers through their doors last week from a company calling themselves Children's Villages Clothing Collection.

The leaflet appeals for people to leave out donations of unwanted clothes, asking specifically for ladies, gents and children's clothing, shoes, handbags, belts, hand towels, linen and curtains, mobiles phones and soft toys.

The leaflet states 'you can help people in third world countries, spare clothes will be carefully sorted and worn again'.

Lancashire Trading Standards officers claim the leaflets are misleading, giving the impression the items collected are for charitable purposes. No addresses, charity registrations or telephone numbers are displayed on the flyer.

Mother of two, Karen Ramsey, of Ash Grove, Chorley, said: "I think it is despicable, I've seen bags of clothes on doorsteps and feel like knocking on their doors to warn them.

"Charities are already stretched enough without unscrupulous rogues like these preying on people who are trying to help."

Maxine Wilding, 42, of Brooke Street, Chorley, had her suspicions aroused when she received the flyer.

She said: "I'm concerned the stuff collected will not end up going to the needy. The leaflet didn't look right and didn't appear to be official because there were no contact details on it.

"I know folk around here are good givers to worthy causes, so I just hope that people save their donations to give to registered charities."

A spokesperson for registered charity SOS Children's Villages UK, which helps children in over 125 countries, said: "We are extremely concerned over these leaflets. This has happened in the Midlands and seems to have spread north with the collection in Chorley. We would urge householders to ignore the leaflets."