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Tips for reducing the risk of coronavirus-related fraud

Tips for reducing the risk of coronavirus-related fraud

With many people now working remotely, there has been a general increase in fraud and cybercrime. Criminals are seeking new opportunities to exploit any vulnerabilities while people maybe more distracted or using unfamiliar systems.

Common forms aimed at exploiting charities during the current crisis include mandate and CEO fraud. This is where someone claims to be from an organisation you make regular payments to, or pretends to be your CEO and asks you to change bank details or make payments to a new account.

For example, Age Concern in Bracknell recently saw fraudsters pose as its chairman in an attempt to gain £20,000. Happily, this attempt was foiled when its treasurer called the chairman to double-check the requests to transfer cash.

Other scams reported involve fake offers of personal protective equipment for sale, or phishing attempts where fraudsters claim to be from a legitimate organisation with useful information for local charities and a link to click on to access it. Or alternatively, unsolicited offers of goods or other financial support requiring an advance fee payment.

Fraud help and advice for charities

Fortunately, there is guidance available to help charities limit the risks.

Rapidata assurance

As well as protecting your organisation from direct attacks however, it’s vital to ensure that any partners you work with to process payments or manage data have also taken all possible precautions.

As part of The Access Group, here at Rapidata we can assure you that we’re continuing to operate at precisely the same high level as before the lockdown and can ensure the security of both.

Not only are we a Bacs-approved bureau but we have the highest inspection rating possible, scoring Excellent across all areas. We’re also ISO27001 Information Security Management, ISO9001 Quality Management, and, importantly, ISO22301 Business Continuity Management accredited, giving you peace of mind that we are well-prepared for any eventuality, including this pandemic, and that your data is safe in our hands.

Matt Steel, our Information Security Manager explains:

“At Rapidata we worked hard to ensure that should anything like Covid-19 disrupt the normal pattern of operations, then all our systems would remain operational; even if we all had to work from home to ensure our clients business continued to run smoothly. This is why we obtained certification to ISO22301 for business continuity.

“We will never send you files other than through the secure channels we have always used and if you think there is a problem with a login, contact us directly and we will sort it out. For our clients it’s peace of mind, for us it’s very much business as usual as we maintain the highest standards and quality.”

Tips for communicating with donors

Of course, just as we are keeping in close contact with our clients to offer support, inform about changes and allay any concerns, it’s important for charities to maintain contact with your supporters in the same way.

While we can’t stop criminals attempting to defraud us, it’s good to know that there is at least much that can be done to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to it.

Read more from our Covid-19 resources hub >