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Bridge Project charity in Sudbury cheated out of £10,000 in 'despicable' payment fraud


By Newsdesk Sudbury


The Bridge Project social enterprise in Sudbury has been scammed out of approximately £10,000 by a fraudster, and is now trying to spread the word to ensure others do not fall for the same scam..Jo Searle, Bridge Project chief executive, and volunteers Scott Myescough, Raymond Ellis and Henry Bills with the meal delivery service vehicles, which the charity had intended to expand using the £10,000 it has lost Picture by Mark Westley. (6983811)
The Bridge Project social enterprise in Sudbury has been scammed out of approximately £10,000 by a fraudster, and is now trying to spread the word to ensure others do not fall for the same scam..Jo Searle, Bridge Project chief executive, and volunteers Scott Myescough, Raymond Ellis and Henry Bills with the meal delivery service vehicles, which the charity had intended to expand using the £10,000 it has lost Picture by Mark Westley. (6983811)

A Sudbury charity boss has spoken out about a “despicable” fraud which has cheated the organisation out of thousands of pounds.

The Bridge Project, which helps disadvantaged adults, was scammed out of £10,000 – a sum which could now effect the charity’s attempts to expand.

It is now waiting to find out if it can recover any of the money, which had been earmarked towards expanding its successful hot meals service to 1,000 people a month who are disabled, elderly and housebound.

Chief executive Jo Searle Searle said “ After we found out the true recipient of the payment hadn’t received it, we realised we been scammed.

“Details of what exactly happened are still being investigated by the bank and the police, but all I can say is it is a despicable thing to happen.

“I would like to advise people to be especially careful that the same thing doesn’t happen to them.

“Check and check again you have the correct bank account details if you are making online payments.”

She added: “Demand for our fresh meal deliveries has continued to grow. This won’t affect our ability to operate, but it has curtailed our development plans.”

Paul Mackman, chairman of the board of trustees, said: “The bank has told us that this was a sophisticated scam, which was well orchestrated.

“We have introduced additional security to our processes to ensure that this cannot happen again.

“I would advise everyone to send a minimal test payment to any new payees, and confirm receipt by telephone.

“These scammers do not understand the real devastation they cause and, as a charity, we are really upset at losing such a large sum of money.

“People were in tears when they realised what had happened.”



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