Defrauded body urges openness

Aid to the Church in Need, the charity whose website was infiltrated by internet hackers before Christmas, has urged other charities that suffer a similar fate to go public about it.

Last month, four men were arrested after police officers from New Scotland Yard seized £25,000 worth of property from residential premises in south London, which they believed was fraudulently obtained.

One was released without charge, two were released on bail, and Lucky Onyemata, 22, was sentenced to 150 hours of community service for handling stolen goods.

After the arrests, Neville Kyrke-Smith, UK national director of the charity, said other charities targeted by criminals should talk openly about it to encourage more awareness of security.

He said: "People appreciated us going public."

Donors' names, addresses and credit card numbers were stolen from the charity's website and, although the site was shut down and emails were sent to 2,800 donors and 50,000 contacts, money was stolen from at least two people.

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