Credit card fraud can affect any type of organization or business. Although it is less common in churches, this doesn’t mean that your church cannot be affected by it. Due to the fact that a church doesn’t typically sell anything, most of the fraud cases that affect this type of organization don’t come from individuals purchasing goods or services with fraudulent credit cards, but rather misuses of the church’s own credit card. This may occur when someone is issued a credit card in the organization’s name to pay for expenses that are related to running the church, but rather uses it for their personal benefit. Many churches will have credit cards that are used by a variety of employees, officers and administrators.
In order to control expenses made on the credit card and to prevent misuse, the monthly statements for the cards should never be sent directly to the card holders. Doing so would allow the holder to better conceal unauthorized expenses, as they could enter false expenses into the organization’s records. Ideally, the credit card statements should be sent to a treasurer within the church that doesn’t have a card of their own. Every holder would then be required to submit monthly reports of purchases made on the credit card, provide receipts when necessary and obtain prior authorization for larger purchases. The church treasurer can then verify the receipts and expense reports against items on the credit card statement. This would allow for any inconsistencies to be spotted easily.
While fraud may not be a common crime in church, it is by no means nonexistent. For this reason, any church should have proper internal controls related to any financial matters to prevent internal theft and fraud.
It could also be a good idea for any church to carry church insurance that would cover incidents of internal fraud or theft should they occur. The cost for this kind of insurance would vary depending on the size of the church, the number of employees and administrators, the type of building that it is located in, as well as the area where it is found in. However, insurance for churches is typically less expensive than coverage for other types of business. A church insurance quote can be obtained online. In some cases, insurers could provide an instant quote after filling out a short online form.