Focus12, the drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity based in Bury St Edmunds, has fallen victim to a £10,000 email scam.
Lisa Grove, Focus12 chief executive, said the scam happened when someone using a fake email account in her name sent messages authorising payments to be made to criminal accounts.
The charity hopes to warn other organisations and small businesses about the cyber-fraud by telling how the criminals operated.
The fraud took place over a couple of days, before being spotted on Wednesday last week. IT systems at the charity were not compromised during the scam.
The addiction charity has recently gone through tough times as funding becomes increasingly hard to find, with Grove conceding that had the £10,000 hit come last year, it could have forced the 17-year-old charity to fold.
“These criminals acted very quickly,” she said. “We have two fraud squads looking into it, we would like to recover the money and catch them but we are planning on the basis that we won’t see the money again. It is a big blow to us but we are determined to beat the criminals and keep on going.”
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