Can Charities protect themselves against fraud?
Paul Tatum, Partner at Whiting & Partners discusses whether charities can protect themselves against fraud – following the recent Charity Commission publication – “Tackling Charity Fraud”..
“It is important to consider the implications of fraud on charities, especially following the opinion that ‘for most charities it is now a question of when, not if, they are targeted’ according to the report.
Common Charity Fraud
The report highlighted 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 this type of crime can often make complete avoidance impossible.
There are a number of ways in which 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
- Take care when suppliers change their account details
- 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
- Banking policies and controls
These actions should help minimise the risk to charity organisations and it is important to brush up on policies and procedures regularly to ensure that they are as secure as possible.
It is important to consider the responsibility of trustees and managers to have the knowledge and ability to recognise the indicative signs of fraud and then shape an effective response.;