(Immediate Release 26 May 2011)
The Charity Commission has been notified by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) of a number of frauds and attempted frauds involving faked documentation purporting to change suppliers’ bank account details. Higher education institutions across England have been targeted. A number of the frauds have involved construction companies, possibly as payments to such suppliers tend to be substantial. All cases have been investigated by the police.
This alert has been issued as part of an initiative by the Charity Commission to inform trustees and members of the public of scams or fraudulent activity carried out within the charitable sector.
Many charities, particularly those using suppliers of significant services, could be vulnerable to this type of fraud. The Commission is advising such charities to be alert to this fraud risk and to:
If a charity suspects or becomes aware of a fraud they should report this to Action Fraud, using their online fraud reporting tool, or by telephoning 0300 123 2040. Charities should also contact the Charity Commission.
Higher education institutions that are exempt charities should report suspected frauds to HEFCE as the principal regulator, not the Commission.
Sound financial controls and financial management are an essential defence for charities against fraud and financial crime. They should be a core part of a charity’s culture, and practised to the same degree of excellence as a charity’s activities.
Further guidance for trustees and other charity managers on tackling Fraud and financial crime can be found in the Commission’s online toolkit (Protecting charities from harm).
Notes to Editors
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