Combatting charity fraud


Truro accountancy firm PKF Francis Clark has joined forces with charities and regulators to combat fraud targeted against charities, as part of National Charity Fraud Awareness Week.

Charity Fraud Awareness Week (Oct 23-27) aims to help charities limit their fraud risks and ensure that charity trustees, staff and volunteers, as well as their donors and supporters, can recognise the warning signs.

Charities face the same fraud risks as any other sector and fraud can occur at any point in the financial flow, from when the donation is made right through to the money being used to deliver services, supplies or grants.

Charities are particularly vulnerable to frauds of diversion such as skimming, extraction (false invoicing) and back-handers (bribes for grants). Criminals are increasingly turning to the internet to steal information and commit fraud. Every charity with some form of online presence, their website or social media, Facebook or Twitter etc is now at risk of cyber-attack.

Francis Clark employs specialist cyber security experts who can provide charities with the reassurance they need offering a comprehensive service, providing certification to Cyber Essentials and IASME governance standards.

Duncan Leslie, head of not-for-profit for the firm, said: “The impact of fraud on charities can be devastating.

“It can jeopardise the essential services they provide; cause reputational damage; impact fundraising and reduce morale amongst staff and volunteers.

“It is tempting to assume that just because you are a charity, with a moral purpose, that you will not be targeted. The sad reality is that criminals rely on this attitude to prey on potentially easier targets.”