£13,000 returned to Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary after cruel email scam

The funds stolen from a Whitby charity in a cruel email scam have now been returned.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 12:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 12:47 pm
Charity founder Alexandra Farmer

Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary were defrauded out of £13,000 after online hackers intercepted emails to pay an invoice last month.

The funds that were transferred had been to pay for materials to build two large flights enclosures, to house and home over a hundred creatures that currently live at the sanctuary located at Broomfields Farm.

Following the “devastating” news, charity founder Alexandra Farmer feared the project would have to be delayed.

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Alexandra was left “overwhelmed by the generosity and support” of the community and announced work could resume.

Speaking about the support the charity has received, Alexandra said: "After the theft of over £13,000 two weeks ago, when an email hacker stole from us, you have all shown so much generosity and support.

"A kind supporter set up a crowdfunding page and many of you donated in other ways too. In total, you have donated over £20,000! We are also excited for several upcoming fundraising events that are being organised in the next couple of months."

Earlier this week, she also announced that the funds had been returned from the bank.

“It took a month of anxious waiting but the bank looked over all of the evidence in emails, could see how it happened and that it was something out of our control and have refunded the money. We are still to get news back from the police and Action Fraud," she added.

The charity is now planning to move another big project forward which was due to start next year because of the '"high costs involved".

Once the charity receives the crowdfunding money next week, the project of building a series of large flights for birds of prey, corvids and squirrels can begin.