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

2014 London Marathon on track to beat the £53m raised last year

18 Apr 2014

The 2014 London Marathon is on track to raise more than £53m for good causes and break the Guinness World...

No evidence of criminality at Tower Hamlets, say police

17 Apr 2014

The Metropolitan Police has said that there is “no credible evidence of criminality” following an...

Donations double in one day following Marathon runner’s death

16 Apr 2014

The amount donated to the National Osteoporosis Society, the charity 42-year-old Robert Berry was running...

Paula Sussex to be the next Charity Commission chief executive

17 Apr 2014

Paula Sussex, senior vice president, public sector of CGI, has been appointed the new chief executive...

Impact of welfare reforms felt by 95 per cent of Yorkshire charities

17 Apr 2014

A report published today which looks at the impact of welfare reforms in the region of Yorkshire and Humber...

Trussell Trust sees use of its foodbanks 'almost triple' in a year

16 Apr 2014

The number of people using the Trussell Trust’s foodbanks rose from 347,000 to 913,000 in a single year,...

'Technology can offer charities more than just online donations'

10 Apr 2014

Charities are focusing too much on using digital tools for fundraising instead of how technology can be...

Amnesty calls for 'full and frank disclosure' on alleged US surveillance

9 Apr 2014

Amnesty International has warned that alleged mass surveillance by the American intelligence agency NSA...

Virgin Money Giving launches app following year of growth

1 Apr 2014

Virgin Money Giving has launched an app for users after reporting that 30 per cent of traffic to its platform...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance