With cybersecurity being a prevalent topic in Australia over the last few weeks the ACNC is reminding all charities the data they hold could be appealing to fraudsters, and that they need to take proactive steps to prevent fraud – in all its forms.

This week is Charity Fraud Awareness Week, and it is an excellent opportunity for everyone involved in the sector to stop and think about preventing fraud.

Acting Commissioner Deborah Jenkins said it was important charities realise they are not immune to fraud.

“Charities hold personal information and they must take the appropriate steps to protect that information,” she said.

“No one is immune to fraud as we have seen over the last few weeks.”

The ACNC has a range of guidance, tools and resources to help charities prevent fraud. These resources are of value to everyone involved in the sector including directors, board members, staff, volunteers, as well as professional advisors. The ACNC Governance Toolkit includes resources to help charities manage risks including cybersecurity, financial abuse and working with partners.

“Developing an anti-fraud culture from the beginning is best practice, but it is never too late to start, and it is never too late to review the policies and practices your charity has in place,” Ms Jenkins said.

Charities need to be aware that as well as external fraud threats, they can also face internal threats.

“More than 50% of allegations of fraud received by the ACNC relate to the conduct and activities of senior, entrusted members of the charity. However, fraud can be committed by any staff member (paid or volunteer) or any other person who is given some level of responsibility within a charity,” Ms Jenkins said.

The ACNC is proud to support and promote Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2022, taking place from 17 to 21 October. Stay tuned to the ACNC’s social media throughout the week as we share resources to help you and your charity. You can follow along on social media with the international hashtag #StopCharityFraud.

Our Compliance and Education teams will also be hosting a free webinar on Wednesday 19 October covering charity fraud. Register for the webinar here: www.acnc.gov.au/webinars.