As we hit mid-December, the office Christmas parties and fundraisers are coming thick and fast- (even if they are virtual!). But if you’re making a donation to a charity on behalf of your organisation, do you know how to protect it from cyber criminals?
Whether it’s a Christmas jumper Teams meeting or a festive bake-off on Zoom, you may well be considering supporting a charity this season of goodwill. It’s heart-warming to give generously, however the last thing you want as you’re going off on your Christmas break is a cyber attack.
Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, is promoting a #FraudFreeXmas for us all with simple tips on their website . They share the following guidance from the Fundraising Regulator and Charity Commission for England and Wales:
Check the charity name and registration number at gov.uk/checkcharity.
You can also check if a charity is registered with the Fundraising Regulator and is committed to good fundraising practice at fundraisingregulator.org.uk/directory.
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages or calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
Make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information. Look for the registered charity number on their website and beware of any online advertisements that just feature a mobile number.
To donate online, type in the charity website address yourself rather than clicking on a link. Ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company as this is a popular scam.
Contact, or find out more online, about the charity that you want to donate to or work with.
Be more cautious about fundraising appeals with generic wording, such as ‘to help people with COVID-19’. Ask what exactly the money would be used for and who by.
At a time where many people are in a vulnerable position due to Covid-19 and the ripple effects of redundancy, there are likely to be many fraudulent campaigns which tug on the heart strings. As Action Fraud suggest, it is important not to fall victim to these scams. Instead, choose a reputable charity for your company to support and make your donation through a secure source.
Share this blog with whoever will be making the donation payment on behalf of your organisation as well as your colleagues, who may be making their own personal contributions on company devices.
To protect us all from cyber crime and make sure our money is safely received by our chosen cause, we must be vigilant with how we donate online.