Fraudsters nick £2.5BILLION from Brit charities in just one year

Shock figures reveal that the crooks stole more in 2018 than ever before – and about £200million more than in the previous year. BBC show Britain’s Secret Charity Cheats lifted the lid on the scale of the problem, using the Annual Fraud Indicator Report.

“£2.5bn is an appalling sum to be diverted away from actually pursuing charitable purposes,” said Professor Jim Gee, a counter-fraud expert at the University of Portsmouth, which produces the report along with Crowe UK.

“The quicker the sector gets together and actually starts reducing that cost, the better.”

He added: “It’s a continual arms race to improve the skills in place in different organisations to protect them against fraud. “We need to focus on creating stronger anti-fraud cultures.”

The sum is equal to a quarter of the £10.3bn that is donated by Brits to charities or 2.64% of payroll and grant funding.

Fraud is now seen as a major risk to charities, according to many questioned by the show.

Sarah Atkinson, director of policy at the Charity Commission, said: “Nearly 70% of charities in our survey told us that they think that fraud is a major risk.

“We want every charity to be aware that fraud is a risk for them.”

● Britain’s Secret Charity Cheats, BBC One 9am today, and then on BBC iPlayer

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