The Charity Commission is the non-ministerial department responsible for registering and regulating charities in England and Wales, to ensure that the public can support charities with confidence. The Commission has published an alert after receiving several reports from charities who have been targeted by fraudsters impersonating members of staff, specifically attempting to change employees bank details. In all these cases the request was made by email.

The Commission is advising charities to be wary of any requests to their HR department, finance department or staff with authority to update employees bank details. These requests may be sent from a spoofed or similar email address to that of the subject being impersonated.

The following advice has been published by the Charity Commission:

  • review internal procedures regarding how employee details are amended and approved, especially those in relation to verifying validity
  • if an email is unexpected or unusual, do not click on the links or open the attachments.

It is also important that charities ensure they shred any confidential documents before throwing them away. Any charities that have been affected by fraud should report it to Action Fraud as well as to the Charities Commission as a serious incident.

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