Bury Hospice has said cyber criminals have stolen £235,000 from its bank account in what the charity has described as a “sophisticated” fraud.
In a statement on its website the charity said it has reported the theft to police and the Charity Commission and warned that other charities in Greater Manchester have been targeted.
It added that the hoax involved an online virus check.
Eileen Fairhurst, chair of Bury Hospice, said: “We are shocked and sickened that fraudsters would target hospices and other charities. It is beneath contempt when you think how this money was raised by hard-working volunteers and kind benefactors – and what it is needed for.
“We are now carrying out a full investigation and keeping in close contact with our bank. Our own protection systems are now subject to extensive review.
“The police and the Charity Commission have been informed. There will be no immediate impact on the running of Bury Hospice and we will continue to provide an excellent service to those in the Bury community who need us.
“All avenues are now being explored to recover the money and the matter is being investigated by the police national fraud investigation team.”
From Governance & Leadership magazine
Counter fraud campaign
Earlier this month the Charity Finance Group launched a fraud prevention initiative and is urging charities to sign its pledge.
So far around 30 charities have signed the pledge and CFG estimates between them they could save £8m over the next 12 months.