The Fraud Barometer has recorded almost £6m worth of fraud in the first half of the year in which fraudsters hijacked charitable donations, pocketing the donations or the gift aid for themselves.
In one scam, a software programmer exploited the death of a charity founder who set up a programme helping women and children in crisis around the world. He faked donations and submitted tens of thousands of Gift Aid repayment claims to HM Revenue and Customs. He was jailed for 12 years having pocketed more than £5m in gift aid from the scheme.
“Scams targeting income streams of charitable foundations deprive these organisations, and those who depend on them, of desperately needed and hard won funds. Charities are built on human good will and trust, and are focused on help not profit; sadly, this can make them a target for fraudsters. Private and corporate donors can play their part in stamping out these frauds in remaining alert and taking simple steps such as checking the track record of a charity. These are certainly far from victimless crimes and can have huge consequence as it reduces the services available to help support those who need it most.”
Hitesh N Patel, UK Forensic Partner at KPMG