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Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019

By Alan Bryce, Head of Development, Counter Fraud & Cybercrime at Charity Commission for England & Wales

Post byGuest blogger

Monday 21 October marks the start of the fourth national Charity Fraud Awareness Week. With support from partners in the public and private sectors as well as charities from across the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand, charity fraud awareness week has become a truly international forum bringing together people and organisations in the fight against charity fraud. Fraud in the UK has increased 17% in the last year alone and is now recognised as the single most common offence that people will experience. Thus it has never been more important that we join together to better protect our sector and make all charities resilient to organised and opportunistic fraudsters. After all the only people who benefit when we do not talk about fraud are the fraudsters themselves.

When fraud happens in charities it is particularly damaging – not only do good causes lose out, but the morale of staff, volunteers, supporters, and public trust in charities, can all take a serious hit. So we must all work together. That is why the Charity Commission, the Fraud Advisory Panel and Charities Against Fraud (a partnership of over 40 charities, regulators and charitable professional bodies) are launching the fourth Charity Fraud Awareness Week.

Running 21st-25th October, Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019 promotes openness and honesty about fraud. It is an opportunity for trustees, employees, volunteers and the wider public to learn more about the growing threat from fraud, to highlight the good work of those charities that are successfully tackling fraud and reducing the harm it causes. Last year’s charity fraud awareness campaign resulted in over 20 million social media impressions. Our 2018 online survey found that 93% of the public now believe that it is extremely important that charities play their part in the fight against fraud. Clearly the wider public wants and expects charities to tackle fraud.

It is encouraging that each year, more and more charities have become involved. In 2018 some charities ran their own awareness week, aligned with the national campaign; many others shared the accompanying free webinars and guidance produced. What’s more, a number of charities made submissions for the third annual Charities Against Fraud Awards. These actions demonstrate the type of clear commitment and strong tone from charities that the wider public, beneficiaries, donors (and of course, the regulator) increasingly wants to see.

For Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019, there will again be a series of free webinars, online discussions, Q&A opportunities with experts, helpsheets and checklists about current and emerging fraud threats. These have been developed by charities, for charities, and I encourage you to share and learn from the good work of so many charities. If I have one message to you it is take action now – don’t wait to become a victim of fraud.

Charities are encouraged to actively support the week via social media and their own trusted networks. There is a campaign supporters’ pack to download that can be tailored for the specific fraud risks your charity faces.

What’s happening in Charity Fraud Awareness Week

Each day during Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019 the campaign will focus on specific topics:

 

Monday 21 October

Understanding charity fraud

Tuesday 22 October

Fundraising (donation) fraud

Wednesday 23 October

Cybercrime and cybersecurity

Thursday 24 October

Internal (Insider) fraud

Friday 25 October

Keeping data safe

How to get involved

If your charity, or you individually, want to be involved with Charity Fraud Awareness week there’s a number of ways to get involved –

  • Take part in our social media campaign #CharityFraudOut
  • Organise activities aimed at your staff, NHS colleagues, volunteers, members, beneficiaries, donors and supporters
  • Register online for the free charity fraud awareness hub and take part in our live Q&A webinars
  • Download, use and share our free case studies, e-learning resources and practical helpsheets
  • Download and use a supporters’ pack
  • Attend the Charities Against Fraud Awards on the evening of Monday 21 October

All campaign materials are free to download from

 https://www.fraudadvisorypanel.org/charity-fraud/get-involved/

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