Fraudster steals North Yorkshire animal charity's money

image copyrightWhitby Wildlife Sanctuary
image captionThe sanctuary looks after sick and orphaned animals

A wildlife charity has had more than £13,000 stolen in an online fraud.

In a Facebook post, Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary in North Yorkshire said an email was "intercepted by a hacker" while staff were buying supplies.

The sanctuary said the hacker impersonated the supplier and money, which was to be used for new enclosures, was transferred to the fraudster's bank account.

The theft was only discovered when the bank contacted the charity.

The sanctuary, which looks after sick, injured and orphaned animals, said it was "devastated" at the loss.

In the post, it said: "We are only a small charity and when we have the general day-to-day costs to pay for, this amount of money has taken a long time to slowly save up.

"All of those donations and fundraising efforts just gone.

"We hope to get the money back but the banks haven't been able to guarantee this."

Supporters have set up an online appeal to replace the money.

The theft has been reported to the national Action Fraud unit, which is run by the City of London Police.

The force said the case was "currently being assessed by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau".

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