Open Collective
Open Collective
Identifying and Managing Fraudulent Behaviour
Published on December 13, 2022 by Shannon Wray

We're adding features to help fiscal hosts/sponsors identify and manage risks of fraud from impacting their hosted projects.

Fiscal Hosts (sometimes called Fiscal Sponsors) are the engine rooms of Open Collective. They extend their legal status to member projects, accepting and managing money on their behalf. As a result, they are legally responsible for ensuring that the donations they receive and the payments they make are legal and in accordance with their policies.

To protect hosts and their member projects, we're launching adding features today to help hosts identify and manage fraudulent behaviour:

Identifying Fraudulent Expense Claims

We're releasing a new feature to help Collectives and hosts identify fraudulent expense claims. Alongside each expense, you'll now see a warning when the user requesting payment meets some conditions:

Warnings include whether this user and/or their payment method is new (to you or the platform in general), whether they are using multiple profiles, whether they've previously had expense claims rejected and whether they're using multi-factor authentication to secure their accounts.

These warnings are designed to inform you as to whether you should approve or pay an expense. They are not a part of an enforcible policy within Open Collective, but we encourage hosts and Collectives to consider creating and documenting policies as part of their terms or code of conduct if needed.

📘 Read more about approving and paying expenses

Collective Activity Logs

Activity logs are designed to help collective admins and hosts unpick and understand problems, transactions, social activity, memberships and updates to Collective pages. Activity logs are accessible from Collective and Fiscal Host Settings:

Activities can be filtered by type and date, in addition, hosts can filter for activity for any hosted Collective.

📘 Read more about Activity Logs

Freezing and Unhosting Collectives

In order to protect hosts from abuse and to support Collectives wishing (or needing) to migrate to another host, we have added the ability for host admins to self-manage their relationships with their Collectives. These options can be found in Hosted Collectives, accessed from your Host Dashboard:

Freezing a Collective
Freezing a Collective will block all financial activity within that Collective. Contributions and expenses will be removed from the Collective's public profile, and admins will be informed of why the action was taken. We've used this within our own host networks to stop fraudulent contributions and stop rogue administrators while we resolve situations with the communities impacted.

Unhosting a Collective
We've also added the ability to un-host a collective, which can be used to free a Collective to choose another host or to become an independent collective. Before un-hosting, a Collective's balance must be zeroed by paying expenses, making contributions to other Collectives or gifting the balance to the host.

Both of these options are available from your host dashboard under 'Hosted Collectives'.

📘 Read more about freezing a Collective
📙 Read more about un-hosting a Collective

Feedback and Support
Open Collective is an open-source platform developed by Open Collective Inc. we work with our hosts, collectives and users like you to improve our platform. If you have any feedback, we would love to hear from you. If you
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