We are fortunate to have many worthy charities in and around our area all making a huge contribution to our community. When it comes to the fraudsters charities do not have any exemption, in fact quite the opposite, they are often seen as a soft touch. The Charity Commission has just published ‘Tackling Charity Fraud’ highlighting the impact of fraud on charities; it concludes that ‘for most charities it is now a question of when, not if, they are targeted’.
Common Charity Fraud
The report highlights some of the most common types of charity fraud which include grant fraud, banking fraud and staff and volunteer fraud. When it comes to any type of fraud prevention is obviously more achievable than cure, especially when considering that the development of new types of cybercrime which often make complete avoidance impossible
There are a number of ways charity organisations can adopt secure policies and procedures to best tackle these types of fraud such as –
- Due diligence processes for applying for grants
- Monitoring funding channels
- Not giving out banking details over the phone
- Being vigilant when speaking on the telephone
- Beware of cold callers, especially if asking for bank details or other personal information
- Take care when suppliers change their account details
- Banking policies and controls
These actions in turn, should help minimise the risk to charity organisations and it is important to firm up on policies and procedures regularly to ensure that they are as secure as possible.
It is essential for trustees and managers to take responsibility and have the knowledge and ability to recognise the indicative signs of fraud and then shape an effective response.
We all want our local charities to prosper and keep up the good work and stay safe from the bad guys.