Best Practice

School finance: Spotting and avoiding scams

Financial scams, including bank mandate fraud, often target schools and staff need to be aware of what to look out for. Dave Verma advises

Figures suggest that discovered fraud in the schools sector was likely in the region of around £1 million last year. The primary objective of this article is to raise awareness of one of the highest fraud risks currently affecting schools – bank mandate fraud.

This type of fraud is delivered via social engineering and seeks to exploit a lack of fraud awareness and the goodwill of staff in following (false) orders from the headteacher.

This article seeks to explain the problem, how fraudsters are currently attacking school finance systems, and how headteachers can bolster their systems and raise awareness.

According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, bank mandate fraud, which they also refer to as CEO fraud, is seeing a marked increase, especially where schools are being targeted.

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