Affinity fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. For many churches, fraud prevention and detection is a difficult task. Churches are prime targets for scam artists who use their social networks to gain the trust of hundreds of people very quickly. In their wake, churches often find that many of their members have lost thousands of dollars, and that the church community is irrevocably broken.
Fortunately, there are things that clergy and laity can do to protect a church. While fraud services are a good solution, a church can start some fraud prevention and detection on their own. In fact, some fraud prevention services can be as simple as being aware of any new members. Be on the lookout for people who ingratiate themselves very quickly. Good fraud prevention and detection will look closely at members who present themselves as very wealthy and who are making a lot of effort to become very involved with the church.
Of course, it’s not reasonable to expect a church to treat all new members with suspicion. This is why fraud prevention services can be so critical. Fraud prevention services can run background checks on new members. In addition to fraud prevention and detection, these checks can also make sure that the member is trustworthy to work around children.
Not every scam artist, however, has a criminal background or is even new to a church. Established church members often look to their social groups when starting a new scam. This means that any person who pitches a business idea to members of the church should have their proposal reviewed by fraud prevention services.
In fact, one of the basic practices of fraud prevention and detection is to have a church-wide policy to not endorse any business. In practice, however, many churches have found that their parishioners are still taken in by scam artists even when a pastor or other clergy make multiple announcements not to get involved with a particular group, scheme, or venture. A professional service can often provide a church with the proof they need to get rid of a con artist before he or she hurts anyone. A good service can verify the facts of the proposed business, find tax records for both the business and the people representing it, and even provide warnings about the latest scams that are being run.
Church leadership should ensure that a church is a safe place where all members can feel confidant and secure. Being proactive about affinity fraud and fraud prevention services is a good way to make sure that a church doesn’t become a victim. If you want to be proactive about avoiding fraud in your church, contact Weeds in the Garden’s fraud prevention services and we’ll set you up with a plan tailored for your ministry’s financial needs!