Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Why is fraud awareness so important?
Fraud is a problem that no-one can afford to ignore. All charities can and should do more to embed fraud awareness into every aspect of their organisation. Fraud poses a serious risk to valuable funds and sensitive data, and can damage the reputations of charities, affecting the public’s trust in the sector.
How does fraud affect charities?
Fraud can affect charities in many ways and can be committed by two types of people. An insider who could be a volunteer or a trustee working for a charity, or an outsider who is unknown to the organisation. Many charities overlook the effect that fraud can have on them, and instead of implementing procedures to prevent fraud, they rely on the people to have good morals and ethics.
A Charities Office Co-ordinator defrauded charitable funds to a value of over £45,000. The fraudsters job was to pay charity bills but was not authorised signatory on the charities bank accounts. The fraudster was able to access one of the senior management teams bank account details and set up fake payees in the name of genuine donators. This money was then transferred to the fraudsters own bank account.
When the charity conducted its weekly bank account checks, they showed trusted partners being paid, although these were false payments to the fraudsters account. The fraud was carried out for 6 months and was only detected when the fraudster admitted it.
How to protect your charity from becoming a case study?
There are many policies and procedures that an organisation can implement to protect themselves from fraud:
· Consider how new ways of working may have affected essential fraud prevention controls and the segregation of duties
· Regular internal audits, particularly within accounts and finance
· Make sure you have good, basic cyber-security measures
· Check that individual trustees, staff and volunteers understand their own role in preventing fraud and cyber-crime
· Start a regular and open dialogue about fraud with your trustees and senior managers
· Review and update your staff recruitment and exit procedures.
How to report fraud
If you suspect that your charity is a victim of fraud you can contact Action Fraud to receive the relevant advice and support that you need.
Razor Global Solutions - Fraud Awareness Workshop
Razor Global Solutions fraud experts have created an informative and interesting Fraud Awareness Workshop, in partnership with Bedfordshire Police, to equip you, your volunteers and trustees with the knowledge to detect and prevent fraud in your charity.
Find out more about the workshop here.