Phone hackers cost Flintshire charity 'thousands'

Local voluntary council advises other charities to check their phone systems

Phone hackers defrauded charity
Phone hackers defrauded charity

Phone hackers have left a charity facing a telephone bill for thousands of pounds after infiltrating its lines and using them for premium-rate calls.

Staff at Flintshire Local Voluntary Council were alerted to unusual activity on the line by the charity’s telephone provider.

Investigations discovered hundreds of calls had been made over a weekend.

The charity, which employs 20 staff, is due to receive its phone bill this week.

Kieran Duff, the chief officer, said he expected the bill to be thousands of pounds, if not tens of thousands. He declined to reveal the name of the telephone provider.

The charity will use its reserves to pay, but Duff said his organisation "fully intends to challenge" the telephone provider about the charge because he does not believe FLVC was adequately informed about the risks.

"It seems unfair that we did not make these calls yet we are landed with the bill," said Duff.

He advised charities to check their phone systems, particularly voicemails, which are susceptible to hacking.

"Don’t assume if you are a small organisation you are immune to this," said Duff. "Small organisations could, in fact, be more vulnerable."

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