Charity Fraud Prevention Week – Taking Action

Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2021TAKING ACTION

If you suspect that your charity has fallen victim to insider fraud you should act promptly.

  • Refer to your response plan which should explain how, when and by whom the suspected fraud will be investigated, reported and resolved. It might include engaging external professional support.
  • Report the incident to your relevant national law enforcement agency. In the UK this is Action Fraud (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or Police Scotland (Scotland only).
  • Report matters promptly to your charity regulator. For reports to the Charity Commission for England and Wales treat it as a serious incident. Use the online form to make your report, stating what happened and how you’re dealing with it.

BUILDING YOUR CHARITY’S DEFENCES

Checklist – Ask yourself:

  • Do we have a workplace culture in which fraud is never acceptable and everyone knows it? (An essential part of preventing fraud is to have the right ‘tone at the top’.)
  • Do we talk openly about fraud and is it clearly explained in our anti-fraud, bribery and corruption policy?
  • Is a whistleblowing policy promoted and supported widely within the organisation?
  • Are we developing standard operating procedures that reduce risk and encourage honesty? Are we making sure they are being followed?
  • Do we perform pre-employment screening of new recruits and in-service checks for established employees? Do we expect our partners to do the same?
  • Are we sharing our knowledge with other organisations so that known fraudsters cannot simply job-hop?
  • Do we offer support to employees in difficulty? (Desperation and dissatisfaction are common causes of fraud.)
  • Do we keep registers of gifts, hospitality and conflicts of interest? Are they transparent and reviewed regularly?
  • Do we provide mandatory anti- fraud and corruption training?
  • Is there a response plan for when an insider fraud does happen?

Charity Fraud Awareness Week 18-22 October 2021 – Insider Fraud

Charity Fraud Awareness Week brings together the charity and not-for-profit sectors from around the world to raise awareness and share good practice in tackling fraud and cybercrime.

Fraud HelpsheetGetting to know your staff

Performing proper due diligence in all staff and recruitment matters is an essential part of getting to know the people who work for you. It can greatly reduce the risk of insider fraud.
 

What is Insider Fraud?

This is when someone exploits their role or occupation for personal gain by deliberately misusing the organisation’s assets and resources. It often includes the abuse of trust.

Fraud can be committed by anyone, whether:

  • a trustee;
  • an employee (temporary or permanent); or
  • a volunteer.

This person may act alone or in collusion with someone else. Sometimes criminal gangs will deliberately seek out people ‘on the inside’ to help them commit fraud, for example by asking for information on how to bypass controls.

Warning Signs

Certain kinds of individual behaviour can be red flags for insider fraud. For example:

  • an aggressive or bullying manner that makes colleagues unwilling to challenge their behaviour;
  • a tendency to be over-protective of their work or to take on additional tasks beyond their job description;
  • asking to use someone else’s log-in details because they have forgotten their password;
  • an unwillingness to take holidays or be away from the office for more than a day or two at a time;

A very useful helpsheet, kindly prepared by Cifas and the Fraud Advisory Panel, can be downloaded here

Case studies of inside fraud in charities can be found here