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WATCH: Highland Hospice official in Inverness speaks out after charity lost £575k to fraudsters

By Andrew Dixon

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Highland Hospice headquarters in Inverness.
Highland Hospice headquarters in Inverness.

Highland Hospice has revealed details about how fraudsters stole £575,000 from the charity.

In a video, publicised by Police Scotland, the charity's head of finance and facilities Julie Douglas speaks about the crime which happened in summer 2017.

She said a fraudster called the hospice to claim they were from the bank and had spotted an attempted the fraud involving the hospice's account the previous day.

The fraudster was apparently on the call for 90 minutes and used various methods to convince hospice staff that they were genuine and persuaded them to take measures to transfer money from the charity's account to another account, on the assumption it would be returned.

When transferring the cash, the hospice's actual bank noticed the level of the transactions and contacted the hospice. At that point, the charity was told to stop the call to the fraudsters and the transfers.

It came after 13 transfers had been made, totally £575,000.

Ms Douglas said: "Everybody in the hospice and outwith the hospice were extremely shocked that this could have happened to us and that anyone would choose to target a charity that is here to help sick people.

"It was complete disbelief that anyone could stoop so low."

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