ACNC urges charities to prevent fraud and cybercrime

The ACNC has urged charities to take steps to prevent fraud and cybercrime.

Commissioner Johns said charities were vulnerable to fraud and cybercrime, especially as fraudsters try to exploit national and global crises.

‘As I meet with Australian charities it is clear many are affected by the global COVID-19 crisis,’ said Dr Johns.  ‘It is perhaps more important now than it has ever been to safeguard against the risk of fraud and cybercrime as charities face unprecedented challenges.’

In 2019-20, the ACNC received 2102 concerns about charities, most received from the public or members of a charity.  The most common were about perceived mismanagement of funds or individuals obtaining a private benefit from a charity.

‘It takes time and hard work for charities to build their reputations but falling prey to fraud and cybercrime can quickly dent or damage it, particularly if a charity failed to put in place preventative measures’, said Dr Johns.

‘It’s better to get on the front foot by establishing good governance […] to prevent fraud rather than take remedial action after it happens.’

The ACNC provides many resources to equip charities to increase awareness and to implement measures to prevent fraud.  The resources are of value to everyone involved in the sector including directors, board members, trustees, staff, and volunteers, as well as accountants, auditors and solicitors acting as professional advisers.

Governance Toolkit includes resources to help charities manage risks, including financial abuse, cybersecurity, and working with partners.  Access the toolkit at the ACNC website.