Charities can take simple steps to avoid falling victim to cheque fraud, according to the cheque clearing body for England, Wales and Scotland.
The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company said research from the umbrella body the Payments Council last year showed that 90 per cent of charities used cheques regularly.
It has published a new guide detailing what charities can do to safeguard themselves from fraud when paying by cheque.
Tips include drawing a line through all unused space on cheques, making sure cheques are not visible through the windows of the envelopes they are posted in and using the word ‘zero’ in place of ‘nil’, as this can easily be changed to ‘nine’.
C&CCC said research showed that total cheque fraud amounted to £27.5m in the UK in 2013.
Angela Thomas, managing director of C&CCC, said: "Charities can avoid some of the common pitfalls that often lead to cheque fraud by following simple and straightforward advice detailed in our new guide. This can help any charity using cheques make sure they best protect themselves from the criminals undertaking these devious crimes."
Last month, a report from the University of Portsmouth and the accountancy firm BDO said improved counter-fraud measures could save UK charities a total of £659m of the roughly £1.65bn lost each year to various types of fraud.