ENTERTAINMENT

Warning: Hundreds of charities are losing £ 3.6 million to scammers during a coronavirus pandemic


Hundreds of charities lose £ 3.6 million to scammers during a coronavirus pandemic

  • Over 645 charities have been affected by the fraud – more than £ 3.6 million have been stolen since March
  • Fraudsters have made false appeals and misled employees into buying counterfeit PPE
  • Watchdog warned trustees and donors to step up their defenses

Scammers target hundreds of charities, steal millions, and leave some on the verge of bankruptcy during the pandemic, the Charities Commission warned.

More than 645 charities have been victims of fraud, with more than £ 3.6 million stolen since March.

Helen Stephenson, executive director of the Charity Commission, has warned that ruthless scammers make money by cloning appeals, creating fake charities, or tricking employees into buying counterfeit personal protective equipment like masks.

The watchdog has urged trustees and donors to step up their defenses against fraud as Covid restrictions have spurred a surge in virtual fundraisers.

More than 645 charities have been victims of fraud since March, with more than £ 3.6 million stolen, the Charities Commission warned

Many of the organizations affected have become a lifeline for the sick and needy during the pandemic. The loss of income is due to experts predicting that one in ten UK charities will go bankrupt by the end of the year.

Companies are struggling to cope with a £ 10 billion deficit caused by increased demand for their services and the loss of donation income upon lockdown.

Analysis by independent charity Pro Bono Economics suggests the outbreak will trigger a £ 6.4 billion loss of income for charities over the next six months, as does demand for additional services – from health advice to debt counseling to social welfare – Costs of £ 3.7 billion.

Macmillan Cancer Support announced that its funding is facing a £ 20 million black hole. The annual coffee morning fundraiser could raise less than a third of the £ 27.5 million raised last year, which would result in 80,000 cancer patients missing out on the support of a nurse.

Claire Rowney, the charity's executive fundraising director, said it was "one of the greatest crises in living memory".

Yesterday, the Charity Commission announced that charities have been victims of fraud or cybercrime 645 times since March, but the true extent of the fraud is estimated to be much higher.

Claire Rowney, the charity's executive fundraising director, said it was "one of the greatest crises in living memory"

Claire Rowney, the charity's executive fundraising director, said it was "one of the greatest crises in living memory".

The Charity Regulatory Authority in England and Wales is concerned that remote working and virtual charity and logout processes, coupled with the tendency to show goodwill and trust in individuals, could make them particularly vulnerable.

Charities that provide services to local communities are most at risk of fraud, such as investing in counterfeit PPE equipment for volunteers, the Commission said.

Scammers also bombard charities with phishing emails claiming to provide information such as a list of vulnerable elderly people in a community who may need help.

The regulator reported cases where charity workers divert funds to their personal bank accounts and even sell charity equipment for personal benefit. The organization knew the perpetrator in more than half of the charity fraud cases.

Miss Stephenson said, "Unfortunately the numbers we are seeing are probably just the tip of the iceberg. We know that fraud is under-reported and I am concerned that the pandemic may have worsened.

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