Rain

Rain

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Cyber-fraudsters steal £10,000 from Bury St Edmunds rehab charity Focus12

16:34 15 January 2016

Focus 12 charity in Bury St Edmunds had £10,000 stolen from bank accounts by fraudsters. Pictured is Chief Executive Lisa Grove.

Focus 12 charity in Bury St Edmunds had £10,000 stolen from bank accounts by fraudsters. Pictured is Chief Executive Lisa Grove.

A Suffolk charity has been left reeling after cyber-fraudsters stole £10,000 from them in two days.

Leading drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity Focus12, based in Bury St Edmunds, is issuing a “call to arms” to help plug the funding gap.

Lisa Grove, Focus12 chief executive, said the crime has been very painful for herself, staff and supporters but they have not been defeated.

“It has galvanised everybody,” she said. “It is a big blow to us but we are determined to beat the criminals and keep on going.

“We really do use every penny we raise so it is gut wrenching but we are holding together and our plan is to raise our profile and do lots of fundraising – it is a call to arms for anyone who has supported us, used our services or knows someone who has suffered with addiction to help us out.”

The addiction charity has recently gone through tough times as funding becomes increasingly hard to find, with Ms Grove conceding that had the £10,000 hit come last year, it could have forced the 17-year-old charity to fold.

The charity hopes to warn other organisations and small businesses about the cyber-fraud by telling how the criminals operated.

Ms Grove said: “It was a simple but effective fraud in its duplicity. Someone masqueraded as me with my email address and authorised for payments to be made to accounts which were not ours. These criminals acted very quickly. We have two fraud squads looking into it, we would like to recover the money and catch them but we are planning on the basis that we won’t see the money again.

“It is sickening because they have stolen from a charity. We subsidise a lot of people’s care, so if someone comes to us and has the right attitude and has some of the money, we may pay subsidise the rest. So for me that money is being taken from up to 20 people who we may have subsidised.

“If someone was to come to us now asking for subsidy, I don’t think we would be in a position to help.”

The fraud took place over a couple of days, before being spotted on Wednesday this week.

To support Focus12 visit www.justgiving.com/focus12

2 comments

  • To be able to do what was stated above they would have needed access to the full bank account details and passwords. This seems to point to a total lack of even basic security at the charity. Unfortunately an all to common event

    Report this comment

    Bill Jackson

    Saturday, January 16, 2016

  • Interesting comment above about a despicable crime. One would assume the fraud squad have looked at the criminal records of anyone who has access to these accounts, just to eliminate them.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Banham

    Friday, January 15, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Police investigate the scene of a murder on Old Road in Clacton.

A man has admitted killing a Clacton woman in her home.

Hollesley Bay

Hollesley Bay prison’s Independent Monitoring Board Chairman has pledged continue with her duties despite being ostracised by other board members.

Mill Street flooding in Mildenhall - 10.36am on 31/5/16 - picture by Helen Hysted

In just one hour, flood waters rose high enough to cause a BMW to break down in Mildenhall this morning.

Whitsun Fayre in Bury St Edmunds.

Sunday’s Whitsun Fayre in Bury St Edmunds could turn out to be the busiest yet in the town centre, adding further weight to questions about whether now is the right time to reintroduce the town’s carnival.

Matthew Brett freshens up the hay for Theberton Herd cows at the Suffolk Show.

This week we have a team of reporters and photographers at Trinity Park bringing you full coverage of the highlight of the Suffolk agricultural calendar - the Suffolk Show.

UK Power Networks tree trimming

Engineers have been called in to cut trees back from an overhead power line after the two came into contact in a Suffolk village and sparked a fire.

A fire crew from Ipswich East attended the incident

The help of firefighters was required at an address near Ipswich, where a woman was accidentally trapped in a bathroom.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24