The Charity Commission in the UK has issued advice for charities across the country on handling potential coronavirus (COVID-19) related fraud and cybercrime.
According to the commission, fraudsters are exploiting the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak to carry out cybercrime. Police have reported a spike in coronavirus related scams as well, which has prompted the commission to issue an alert to help charities in minimising the risk of falling prey to such frauds and cyber-attacks.
The Charity Commission warned that all charities across the UK, particularly those offering services and supporting local communities during the COVID-19 crisis, could be the targets of fraudsters.
The commission believes that there are various ways in which charities can be a victim of scams, including those which involve the online sale of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) like face masks and gloves.
Warning that certain sellers have been fraud, the commission said that in some cases, once payment is done online, no products are dispatched or the products do not comply with the necessary standards.
The Charity Commission wants charities to undertake due diligence in case they are purchasing from a company or person they did not know previously. Furthermore, when charities are not sure from whom they are buying, it is advisable that the concerned person discusses with fellow trustees, colleagues or volunteers before making the purchase, said the commission.
The charities’ regulator wants charity employees to be cautious all the time when asked to make changes to bank details or sending payments to a new account. It urges charities to follow their validation procedures, wherever possible, and check the authenticity of such messages prior to making any payments or carrying out banking changes. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
The Charity Commission said that charities should always question unsolicited offers of goods or other financial support which require an advanced fee payment. It warned that just because someone knows the charity employee’s name and contact details, it does not confirm that they are genuine.
Source: Government Computing