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Dorothy House Hospice Care have had £130,000 stolen from their bank account after becoming the target of criminal fraudsters.
Details of the theft are still confidential whilst the investigation is ongoing, but after the incident on Tuesday 16th May, John Davies, CEO at Dorothy House Hospice Care said, “That such a despicable crime can be targeted at a charity like Dorothy House makes me extremely angry and is an affront to the amazing work and support of our community, staff and our volunteers. Fortunately, no confidentiality or patient or family care was affected by this incident and there is no financial risk to the charity due to strong contingency planning.
“We have alerted other local hospices to help them avoid any similar fraud and we are constantly vigilant of all aspects of online security and are well protected against cyber-attacks like the recent ransomware virus affecting parts of the NHS. Looking ahead, we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Dorothy House and its funds are secure and will continue to deliver the outstanding care for which we are renowned.”
Staff were briefed about the crime on Tuesday 30th May. John Davies added, “The staff are very upset, and there is a sombre mood. They can’t believe that a criminal would target a charity. But the staff have been incredibly supportive, which I have found quite moving.”
Both patient and family care remained unaffected throughout this fraudulent incident and there is no evidence of internal staff collusion in the fraud. The hospice has thoroughly analysed its internal security measures and are confident they are robust. Dorothy House has also commissioned a full independent investigation by Bishop Fleming, a professional forensic investigation company, the results of which will be made available in the months ahead.
Dorothy House has a wait of up to 30 days to hear if the money that was taken is recoverable following an investigation by Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime.
Despite the setback, John is confident about the future of the charity, “This is a kicking, but this will not stop us moving forward.”
For more information about Dorothy House please visit their website, www.dorothyhouse.org.uk