8 Jul 2019

With a total annual income of over £69 billion, the charity sector is vulnerable to fraud and financial crime.

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The Charity Commission has updated its guidance on fraud and cyber crime 

Fraud poses a serious risk to valuable funds and sensitive data, and can damage the good reputation of charities, affecting public trust and confidence in the sector as a whole. It's therefore essential that trustees put in place suitable counter-fraud measures.

Estimates of the scale of charity fraud in recent years have varied between nearly £150 million and almost £2 billion per year. It's clear that the loss to fraud has a significant impact on the good work that charities do.

Fraud is dishonesty, involving either:

  • false representation, for example identity fraud
  • failing to disclose information
  • abuse of position to make a gain or cause loss to another

The updated guidance includes infographics, helpsheets and e-learning tools for charities and information on how to report fraud.

Top Tips for Fraud & Cyber crime Prevention

  • Make sure your charity has robust financial controls that are properly implemented and monitored 
  • Encourage a culture of questioning and make it easy for people to report any suspicious behaviour
  • Be careful about putting too much financial responsibility in the hands of one person
  • Make sure your data protection policies and procedures are up-to-date and implemented
  • Do the Cyber Essentials self-assessment to help protect your charity against cyber attack