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Charity Finance Professionals Community

Cybercrime alert from HMRC’s Head of Cyber Security Operations

Author: Kristina Kopic, Head of Charity and Voluntary Sector, ICAEW

Published: 02 Sep 2021

Charity Fraud Awareness Week logo

Scams have increased during the pandemic, with tax-related scams doubling in the last year.

The Charity Tax Group recently published a letter from Mike Fell, HMRC’s Head of Cyber Security Operations, which encourages the voluntary sector to report HMRC-branded scams directly to HMRC. 

Mia Campbell, Head of the Fraud Advisory Panel, warns that fraud accounts for about 40% of all crime and a significant and growing proportion of it is committed online. This means that anyone – and any charity – is at risk. Research by the Fraud Advisory Panel and Charity Commission in 2019 estimated that around 1 in every 25 charities would fall victim to fraud within the next two years, and this has probably been exacerbated by the pandemic and the rapid shift online.

The Charity Commission provides guidance to help protect your charity from fraud and cybercrime, including its 8 guiding principles for tackling charity fraud, and the National Cyber Security Centre offers a cyber security toolkit for charity boards which has been designed to encourage cyber security conversations between the board and staff of larger charities.

Campbell will host a webinar for members of the Charity Finance Professionals Community, ‘Managing the risk of fraud and financial crime – an overview for charities’, which will take place on 18 October to mark the start of Charity Fraud Awareness Week. Please look out for the webinar invite and join us.

Campbell also encourages everyone working in the charity sector to get involved in Charity Fraud Awareness Week. It’s a great way to raise awareness and prevent fraud and best of all, it’s easy.

For more information or to request a supporters pack, please contact Mia Campbell at the Fraud Advisory Panel, mia.campbell@fraudadvisorypanel.org or visit www.preventcharityfraud.org.uk (available from mid-September).