Bank reimburses small charity after account emptied by scammers

A small charity that fell victim to scammers who emptied the contents of its account has been reimbursed by its bank.

The Millom Network Centre has been told by the Co-operative Bank it will get its money back.

The small charity said “it has been a harrowing time” for the charity and that now “there is light at the end of the tunnel”.

Around £45,000 was taken from the account by scammers who had telephoned the charity posing as their bank and asking for details.

The charity had faced closure after the scam and had launched a fundraiser among its supporters for help, which had raised £1,290.

“We are extremely sorry that the Millom Network Centre fell victim to fraudulent activity and sympathise with the distress and inconvenience caused,” said a spokesperson for the bank.

“We have now fully concluded our investigation and have agreed to refund the full amount lost, along with additional compensation for the time taken to investigate this case.

“We want to reassure our customers that we have robust security controls in place to protect them from fraud and to remind them to never share key account or security information with anyone.

“If a customer receives a phone call from someone claiming to be a bank colleague, they should hang up and call 159 to be safely routed through to our fraud team.”

To prevent fraud the bank is advising customers to:

• Never share any one-time passcodes, or any of your passwords or other security codes with anyone – even those who claim to be employees at The Co-operative Bank
• Never agree to authorise a transaction that you have not physically made yourself in online banking
• Always read any warning text messages that the bank sends you
• Don’t agree to download software or an app on to your device that allows someone to access it remotely
• Don’t trust the caller display on your phone to verify a caller. Fraudsters can easily manipulate this
• The Co-operative Bank will never ask you to move your funds to a ‘safe’ account – be that a different Co-operative Bank account or an account with another financial institution

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