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High Stakes with High-Tech

New tools and tactics make churches susceptible to fraud.

Fraud in the church is a growing epidemic. Every week, it's astounding to see five to ten Google Alerts generated by the keywords "church" and "embezzlement."

Sadly, that sounds low. As many church administrators know, these alerts represent the ones that make the news, so the actual numbers may be higher. But it's not unusual for cases—suspected or real—at churches to go unreported, either because they're undetected or because the church decides to address the situation internally and not involve authorities.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) says the median loss for nonprofits was $90,000, and for religious organizations it was $75,000. For a church budget, that's a huge loss—it means something else in the ministry won't be possible.

Yet the threat continues to fly under the radar of most churches. It's similar ...

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Posted:
  • January 2, 2012

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