Did you see Britain’s Secret Charity Cheats on BBC One or iPlayer this week?

The programme highlights different cases in which charities have lost money to scammers – cyber-criminals, fundraisers and even employees and volunteers.

It’s been reported that charities lost £2.5 billion to fraud last year – almost a quarter of what donors gave. The data comes from the Annual Fraud Indicator 2018, which will be published here.

Will donors continue to give if they can’t be sure their money will reach your beneficiaries?

Charities can take simple steps to reassure their donors:

1. Acknowledge that all charities, even yours, can potentially be targeted by fraudsters. Start monitoring suspicious activity and reporting it, both within your charity and to the Charity Commission. Being proactive shows you are taking the matter seriously – after all, you can only solve a problem you know you have.

2. Stay on top of the latest guidance on fraud prevention and implement the recommendations. The Charity Commission recently published an alert for trustees on cyber-crime which summarises various sources of valuable information, including the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

3. Train your staff and volunteers to be alert to the signs of fraud and put a fraud response plan in place so you can take swift action to minimise loss and recover funds if the worst does happen.

If you would like more information about any of these matters, how to protect your charity from fraud generally or to discuss a specific case, please email us at [email protected] or call 020 7551 7777 and ask to speak to Rob Oakley or Mindy Jhittay.