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NEWS > Charity Sector News > Warning: Beware of Potentially Fraudulent Legacy Emails

Warning: Beware of Potentially Fraudulent Legacy Emails

Cii members have alerted us to a phishing email concerning a large legacy donation targeting Irish Charities

Charities should exercise caution when receiving unexpected emails claiming to involve substantial bequests from overseas donors. A Cii member has let us know that they recently received a fraudulent email that purported to be from the nephew of a US-based individual who remembered the organisation in their will.

According to the email, the generous donor had bequeathed a 'significant sum' to the charity and his family were disappointed they had not received an acknowledgment and were concerned that the funds had not been transferred. To add a semblance of legitimacy, the email provided details of a real US law firm, for the charity to contact regarding the matter.

Upon further investigation, they discovered that the contact details for the law firm were incorrect. Instead of relying on the provided information, the charity independently verified the firm's legitimacy by using contact details found online. The law firm confirmed that the email was not legitimate and disclosed that they had received similar calls from several charities facing the same issue.

In response, the charity promptly blocked the sender of the suspicious email and took appropriate measures to protect their organisation from potential fraud.

This incident serves as a stark reminder for all Irish charities to remain vigilant and exercise due diligence when dealing with unexpected bequests or donation claims from unfamiliar sources. It is crucial to independently verify the authenticity of such communications. Charities should cross-check contact details provided in suspicious emails and, if necessary, directly reach out to the alleged parties using verified and publicly available information.

By staying vigilant and adopting stringent verification measures, charities can safeguard themselves against potential scams and fraudulent activities, ultimately preserving the trust and integrity of the charitable sector.

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