The Charity Commission is warning charity leaders to protect their organisations against fraud and cybercrime, after new figures show charities reported almost £8.6 million of lost funds in the last financial year.
This latest data from Action Fraud also shows 1,059 separate incidents of fraud were reported by charities in just one year from April 2020 to March 2021. The true scale of fraud against charities is believed to be much higher, as fraud is known to be underreported.
The Commission is highlighting these figures, and the live risk to charities from fraud, as part of Charity Fraud Awareness Week, an annual campaign that aims to highlight ways charities can protect themselves from this crime.
This warning comes as other new figures, released on 18th October, show that around 65% of charities feel the pandemic has increased their risk of fraud. Charities expressed concerns that risk may have been increased as a result of more remote working and virtual sign-off processes.
Together with the Fraud Advisory Panel, the regulator is urging all trustees to sign up to a new Stop Fraud Pledge, which commits charities to taking six practical actions to reduce the chances of falling victim to fraud.