Fundraising Regulator issues email scam warning

17th September 2018

Online scammers are sending fake invoices to charities, claiming to be from the Fundraising Regulator to cover Fundraising Preference Service costs.

The service allows people to control direct marketing from charities and is paid for by an annual levy charged to charities with fundraising costs of more than £100,000, with those with lower costs paying a flat fee of £50 a year.

The regulator says that online scammers are sending charities that spend more than £100,000 an invoice saying that payment is due. It stresses that these are fake and it does not send invoices to charities by email.

The Fundraising Regulator adds that the emails are being sent from a fake account: levy@fundraisingregulator.org.uk and is urging any charity that has received an email from this account to contact them immediately on 0300 999 3407 or at enquiries@fundraisingregulator.org.uk.

Scam reported to Action Fraud

The matter has also been reported to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

“We are aware of an email scam being sent to charities, asking for money for the Fundraising Preference Service or saying that an invoice is due,” says a statement from the Fundraising Regulator.

“To clarify, we do not send out invoices for the Fundraising Preference Service, as the cost of this service is covered by the fundraising levy.”

The statement adds: “If you know of any other organisations you think might be affected by this email scam, please share this advice with them. We have reported this incident to Action Fraud.”

According to the latest Annual Fraud Indicator, charities and charitable trusts lost £2.3bn to fraud in the 12 months to November 2017. Over that period fraud cost the UK £190bn, the equivalent of £10,000 per family.