The Charity Commission has issued an alert for charities warning them about a rise in phishing scams and urging them to be “vigilant and protect themselves from harm”.
The Charity Commission issued its phishing alert to charities yesterday, and said that Action Fraud gets “around 8,000 reports of phishing each month, which shows the scale of these scams”. The alert said that charities, like other organisations, “can be at risk and we are urging trustees to be vigilant”.
The Commission also urged any charity affected by a phishing scam to report it to Action Fraud, and said any charity which had “fallen victim” to such a scam and lost “sensitive data or valuable funds” needed to report it to the Commission as a serious incident.
The regulator defined ‘phishing’ as when “fraudsters attempt to hoax users and get hold of sensitive information such as: usernames, passwords [or] credit card details. They do this through electronic communication like email, pop-up message, phone call or text message”.
The Commission’s alert listed a number of “preventative actions” that charities can take to protect against phishing scams, including making sure “software has up-to-date virus protection” not clicking on links or opening attachments “received in unsolicited emails or SMS messages” and installing “software updates as soon as they become available”.
A Charity Commission spokeswoman said that the alert was “just a general reminder” to charities that phishing scams are “still happening”, and was not being issued because of any specific spike in phishing scams being targeted directly at charities.
Action Fraud has also been contacted by Civil Society News for a comment.