Share

WRVS sets up fraud response team as recession bites

WRVS sets up fraud response team as recession bites
News

WRVS sets up fraud response team as recession bites

Finance | Tania Mason | 8 Dec 2009

WRVS has established a fraud response team with representatives drawn from four different departments in order to tackle the changing nature of fraudulent activity going on both inside and outside the charity.

Jill Reid, the charity’s head of audit and risk management, says that since the credit crunch got into full swing, the whole risk profile within WRVS has changed.

“A year ago, attempts to defraud the charity came from shortages in banking or palming cash from the tills,” she said. “Now it has become a different ball game - in the last six months we have uncovered overtime, petty cash and authorisation frauds.

“It feels at times that as fast as we close one loophole another one is found.”

The fraud response team that has been formed to reduce the risk of fraud has members from finance, HR, internal audit and operations. It meets regularly and has drawn up an anti-fraud policy for the charity and set up a whistleblowing hotline, referred to internally as the integrity line – “or the bat phone within the audit team”.  The ‘bat phone’ is a company mobile on a £12-a-month contract.

Reid said that one popular scam is based in fundraising. A donor calls the charity and states: “I made a mistake when I donated through your website yesterday.  I entered £500 but I meant to donate £50, please could you refund me the £450.” The £450 is refunded to the card given over the phone, but then the charity discovers it was stolen or a copy.

Reid advises that the main weapons to use to combat fraud are “awareness, reporting and monitoring”.  

“By talking aloud, reporting fraud either to the police or the Charity Commission, criminals will eventually stop regarding charities as soft targets staffed by inexperienced people who trust everyone,” she said.

Reid has written an article for the Charity Finance Yearbook 2010 in which she offers some practical tips on how charities can avoid being targeted by fraudsters.  To pre-order your copy of the Yearbook, click here.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

1 in 10 Brits have donated to charity because of #icebucketchallenge

12 Sep 2014

One-sixth of Britons say that they have taken part in an ice bucket challenge, while one in ten said they...

Donations pour in to Manchester Dogs’ Home following arson attack

12 Sep 2014

Manchester Dogs' Home has received almost £600,000 worth of donations through a JustGiving page set up...

Society Network Foundation dismisses government's claim for grant refund

12 Sep 2014

The trustees of Society Network Foundation have rejected the Cabinet Office claim that the charity ought...

Serco to end its involvement with the National Citizen Service

11 Sep 2014

Serco has not reapplied to deliver the volunteering programme the National Citizen Service, despite winning...

Electoral Commission's amendments to Lobbying Act guidelines 'a climbdown'

11 Sep 2014

The Electoral Commission has been forced into a climbdown over its guidance on the Lobbying Act, according...

Labour MPs are more supportive than Conservatives of charities challenging government policies

11 Sep 2014

Less than half of Conservative MPs believe charities should be able to challenge government policy, new...

Charities warned that digital campaigns can be 'counterproductive'

9 Sep 2014

Charity digital campaigns can be counterproductive and will need to change to keep the attention of those...

Twitter trials plans to allow users to donate to charity through its site

9 Sep 2014

Twitter has announced plans to allow users to donate to charity through the social media platform, as...

Fundraisers should engage more with older people online, new research shows

2 Sep 2014

Charities could be missing out on donations by not engaging with older people through online and mobile...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance