Charity Fraud Awareness Week

Did you know that this week is Charity Fraud Awareness Week?

All charities, NGOs and Not for Profits are susceptible to fraud and can be targeted. Those providing services and supporting local communities may be especially vulnerable to fraudsters attempting to exploit current national and global crises to carry out fraud and cybercrime. This means that now, more than ever, charities need to be fraud aware and take steps to protect their money, people and assets from harm.

International Charity Fraud Awareness Week brings together everyone involved in the Charity and Not for profit sectors to raise awareness and share good practice in tackling fraud and cybercrime. The campaign is led by a coalition of over 40 charities, regulators, law enforcers, representative and umbrella bodies, and other Not for Profit stakeholders.

This year’s campaign has three core messages: be fraud aware, take time to check, and keep your charity safe.

Be fraud aware

  • Charities hold information that can be attractive to fraudsters.
  • Criminals are experts at impersonating people and businesses.
  • Don’t click on links within unexpected or unsolicited emails and text messages.
  • Make sure your staff and volunteers are fraud aware. Give them a safe way to raise their concerns.

Take time to check

  • If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Have you been asked to amend an existing supplier’s bank account details? Confirm it is genuine using ‘on-file’ details before making payment.
  • Query unsolicited offers of ‘free help’ or financial support where an advanced fee payment is required.
  • Regularly check your charity’s bank statements to spot unusual or suspicious activity.

Keep your charity safe

  • Keep full financial records and put all important decisions in writing.
  • When paying someone for the first time, consider transferring a small amount first. Check that it has been received before paying the remainder.
  • Do not give anyone remote access to your computer following a cold call or unsolicited text.
  • Send remittance advice to your suppliers and beneficiaries so they know when a payment has been made.

The Fraud Advisory Panel have created a Charity Fraud Awareness Hub which contains a number of help sheets, case studies, webinars and other useful resources to help your charity stay protected against fraud.

Access the hub

For further information or advice for your organisation, please get in touch with a member of our Charity and Not for Profit team.