26 September 2023

Commission digs deep to curb charity frauds

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The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is celebrating Charity Fraud Awareness Week this week (18-22 October), an international campaign aiming to stop charity fraud.

ACNC Commissioner, Gary Johns said all charities could be vulnerable to fraud.

“As we start to emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic, a key theme of the campaign is that it is more important than ever for the sector to come together, share resources and stop charity fraud in its tracks,” Dr Johns said.

“In 2020-21 we received approximately 2,000 concerns about charities,” he said.

“The most common concerns were about individuals obtaining private benefits from charities or perceived mismanagement of funds.”

Dr Johns said charities were not immune to fraud and, with billions of dollars being generated in revenue each year, charities that did not have adequate financial and governance controls were vulnerable to fraudsters.

The Commissioner said it was more effective to prevent fraud from occurring in the first place than it was to investigate and take action afterwards.

“We always encourage charities to develop an anti-fraud culture from the very beginning,” he said.

“Charities and sector stakeholders can participate in the week by following the campaign on social media and sharing useful resources under the hashtag #StopCharityFraud.”

Dr Johns encouraged people to keep up with the ACNC’s Charity Fraud Awareness Week activities through its social media channels.

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