Regulator warns against charity bank fraud amid rise in reports

The Charity Commission has warned charities against bank fraud after a rise in reports from charities who have fallen victim to the crime.

The regulator said it has received several reports from charities who have been targeted by fraudsters impersonating members of staff, who are attempting to change employees' bank details. In all these cases the request was made via email.

In a warning issued to charities, the regulator said in light of the reports, it is advising charities to look out for some specific signs of fraud, such as a request to change employee bank details by a spoofed or similar e-mail address.

“We want charities to thrive, so ensuring charitable funds are protected from harm and can be spent of the charity’s activities and beneficiaries is vital," the regulator's head of development and operational intelligence said.

“We know several charities have been targeted by this fraud and we want to ensure others are equipped to protect themselves. So our message to charities is clear – read and understand our guidance on fraud – and check who’s sending an email whenever you receive a message about changes to staff bank details.”

The regulator issued a previous alert in May 2019, providing information and advice to charity trustees about cyber-crime and how to report it.

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