The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, is urging charity donors to remain vigilant to the continuing threat of mandate fraud and the changing tactics that fraudsters are using to target charities and their donors.
Mandate fraud occurs when the fraudster tricks a donor into changing bank account details, in order to divert legitimate payments intended for a genuine charity to bank accounts instead controlled by fraudsters. This often involves the fraudster impersonating an organisation representative, either by email, direct mail or telephone communication. The fraudster may also use headed paper and/or the company logo to lend credibility and to gain the charity’s trust.
If you have a standing order established in order to make regular donations to a charity please be on your guard if you are asked to change the bank account details and verify the request before taking action.