The Charity Commission has warned charities to be vigilant for people claiming to be chief executives who ask for gift cards to be bought as Christmas presents for staff.
The alert is based on reports made to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre. It warns that charity staff are being approached by fraudsters who impersonate their chief executive or another senior member of staff and ask for the gift cards to be bought.
The fraudsters then ask for copies of the cards and the codes that will enable them to be used. The Commission warned that contact is usually made by email from a spoofed or similar email address.
The regulator has urged charities to make sure they have processes to corroborate requests requiring payments, to challenge anything that seems suspicious and to shred confidential documents.