If you have not already seen the alert, it is available from the Charity Commission website and we recommend that you read it in full including the Charity Commission's prevention advice.
According to the regulatory alert, the fraud is currently focused on independent schools. It appears to involve compromising the charity's email and computer systems. This enables fraudsters to send emails and make phone calls to the charity's contacts in order to persuade them to make payments to the charity which are diverted into the fraudster's account. The impression given is of a sophisticated fraud which builds confidence with a pattern of apparently legitimate contact through multiple channels, including plausible commercial offers.
Whilst the report indicates that independent schools are the current focus of the fraud, in principle any charity or other organisation with a database of contacts who are accustomed to making payments is vulnerable. This includes universities and healthcare providers, other service providers and fundraising charities.
If you think that your charity may have been affected by this fraud, it is likely that you will need legal and other professional advice on issues including:
For further information, please contact Con Alexander on 0117 314 5214.