Mitigating the risk of cyber-crime

By Rebecca Massey, Senior Legacy Management Lead, Cancer Research UK

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Approximately 80% of legacy funds sent each year to Cancer Research UK are sent by cheque (amounting to approx. £184million in 2019/2020). When our offices closed during the pandemic, BACS transfers became the norm and we experienced a significant increase in the number of calls to confirm bank details. Whilst happy to respond, it did add delay to the transfer process for both parties. We suggested by email that executors google ‘Cancer Research UK Guide for Executors’ to find the necessary information. This independent method to obtain our BACS details satisfied many supporters, and with fraudsters often using links within their emails, we didn’t include a link in ours.

Improved IT systems and training play a huge part in mitigating the risk of cyber-crime. All incoming emails pass through anti-phishing software, we run regular training courses and emphasise vigilance across our Legacy admin and supporter teams. Cancer Research UK also subscribe to ‘Lawyer Checker’, a service which authenticates BACS accounts. It feels right that we have streamlined our processes for mutual benefit and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with legal professionals to strengthen the security of the systems we use for fund transfer.


Posted on 06.01.21