Despite the season of goodwill, authorities are warning that fraudsters are increasingly using charities to defraud well-meaning supporters.
UK group, Action Fraud says £1.6m has been lost to online charity fraud in 2021, with Christmas being a particularly emotive time of the year.
In response to the issue, the scam watchdog is teaming up with the regulators, the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and the National Trading Standards to launch an awareness push.
Recent data from Action Fraud shows that the donations lost to fraud over the past 12 months shows a 16 percent rise on the previous year.
Successful scams include asking for donations for non-existent charities or claiming to be collecting fraudulently for real charities.
The latest intervention from Action Fraud is to try and get ahead of donations which will be made around Christmas, one of the most giving times of the year.
The public is being advised to double check the organisation's name and its registration number on the Charity Commission website to find out if it is legitimate. There is also the Fundraising Regulator’s online Directory to see whether a charity is registered.
Action Fraud doesn’t want to discourage anyone from giving to worthy causes but just a few simple checks could help to ensure the money is going to the right places. Be aware!
If you are a charity and would like to discuss cyber and fraud security, please get in touch. The NERBC is here to help and has a range of resources and guides available. Contact us on: email@example.com