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Cyber Criminals Targeting Charities?

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

Cyber criminality is nothing new in the digital world, the only thing is the constant innovations being introduced to combat cybercriminal activity. There are countless articles and advice forums providing those, in particular online users, of ways in which they can be safe when browsing online.With the increase of social media interactivity between various platforms and the increase of online shopping, it’s easy to become a victim of online fraud or theft.

Recently the charity commission has warned donors to be on their guard against email scams claiming to be from charities. Charities have said to be ‘increasingly attractive target’ for criminals, according to the Charity Commission. The regulator is concerned about the threat charities are facing from criminal gangs who are looking to exploit the voluntary sector’s annual income of more than £76 billion. You’d think a sector representing the generosity of the public and the charities’ workers would be immune to targeting from criminals.

“Giving to charity is a longstanding and important tradition and we welcome the public’s generosity in their support for charities,” says the Charity Commission statement.

“We want to ensure that generous donations do not end up in the wrong hands. We want to make sure that charity continues to thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.

“As regulator, we want everyone to make important checks before they give, so that they feel empowered and more confident at spotting and avoiding scams.

“Charity scams are small in number compared to how much is given safely, but the charity sector generates an annual income of over £76 billion making it an attractive target for criminals.”

They have provided advice to donors by strongly recommending that care is taken before responding to emails from charities or clicking on links. The public should check that the charity is genuine before responding by looking at the Charity Commission’s online register.

A register check can also help determine that fundraising materials are genuine.

They also recommend contacting a charity directly, should they wish to find out more about their spending and how they can get involved.


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