Charity blows whistle on credit card fraud spree

World Emergency Relief is warning charities to be alert after it was used by fraudsters to ‘test' whether stolen credit cards were still working. The overseas aid charity received 11 online donations of £1 in one day, an unusual pattern that sparked concern.

Alex Haxton, director of operations at WER, said: “It’s not unusual for identity theft fraudsters to use online giving mechanisms to ‘test’ whether stolen credit card details are still working. But it’s the first time I’ve come across a charity or non-profit being used in this way.”

The cardholders were contacted and cancelled their cards before they had been used heavily by the fraudsters. The charity offered to reimburse all donations, but ended up being given nearly £90 from the owners of the accounts targeted.

Haxton warned other charities to pay attention to online giving. “Charities need to keep an eye on online donations,” he said. “If fraudulent payments slip through it can really damage your relationship with potential donors.”

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