Applies to England and Wales
© Crown copyright 2013
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-we-ensure-charities-meet-their-legal-requirements/our-work-on-fraud-financial-crime-and-financial-abuse
Charities, like other types of organisation, can be vulnerable to fraud and other financial crime and abuse.
1. About financial crime and abuse in charities
The impact of fraud and financial crime on a charity, particularly on smaller charities, can be significant, going beyond financial loss and the impact on the financing of a charity’s planned activities. These crimes cause distress to trustees, staff, volunteers and beneficiaries. They may bring adverse publicity to the charity, damage to its reputation and affect its future fundraising prospects. So it is important that trustees address incidents of fraud and financial crime responsibly and properly, and follow the guidance the Charity Commission gives to assist in reducing the risk of such events happening in the first place.
The commission’s strategy on fraud and financial crime and abuse aims to help charities better protect themselves by alerting them to the risks of fraud, financial crime and financial abuse, as well as providing guidance to assist them in managing these risks better and in preventing abuse.
2. Related guidance
Find out ways to handle your charity’s money safely.
Use this compliance toolkit to learn how to safeguard your charity from terrorism, fraud and other forms of abuse.
3. External sources of advice and information
Find out more about joint working against fraud and financial crime and who to report it to.
3.1 Fighting Fraud Together
The UK-wide strategic plan for tackling fraud has three strategic objectives: awareness (increasing this across the private, public and voluntary sectors), prevention (stronger systems and controls in businesses and public and voluntary services) and enforcement (tougher disruption and enforcement). The Charity Commission is one of the delivery partners for this strategic plan.
3.2 Action Fraud
This is a national reporting centre specifically dealing with fraud and fraud related crime. Trustees should report any incidents of fraud that take place in their charity and ensure they obtain a crime reference number.
3.3 Crimestoppers – Charity Fraud Line
Crimestoppers is a charity set up to help find criminals and solve crimes. Their helpline is for charity employees to pass on anonymous information about fraud at work, either by a Freephone number or by reporting online.
Charity staff should also tell the Charity Commission if they have evidence that there is a risk of serious harm to a charity, its beneficiaries or assets.
3.4 Get Safe Online
Get Safe Online is a jointly funded initiative between several government departments and private sector businesses providing online security advice. The commission has worked collaboratively with Get Safe Online to produce guidance for people donating to charity and for trustees to help protect them and charities against online fraud.
3.5 Charity Finance Group
Guidance from the Charity Finance Group in partnership with 15 public law enforcement and charity sector organisations, including the Charity Commission.
3.6 Overseas Anti Corruption Unit (OACU) of the City of London Police
An anti corruption training video which is designed to be used by organisations as part of ongoing internal training for their staff.