TENS of thousands of pounds have been stolen from a parish’s bank account after a scammer duped a priest in Ireland and remotely accessed a church’s computer.
The priest from the parish of Banagher, Co. Derry was called by the scammer, who was posing as an engineer.
Claiming the church’s broadband had been hacked, he said he had to remotely access the computer to rectify the problem.
However after he gained access, £86,000 was stolen from the parish’s bank account.
The theft was reported to the PSNI, while parishioners were informed during services at the weekend.
Fr Michael Canny, media spokesperson for the Derry Diocese, told the BBC the priest ‘felt rotten’ after being deceived.
"The priest got a phone call from [a person] who he thought was a genuine company who he has had dealings with before,” said Fr Canny.
"The person on the other end of the phone told him that his system was being hacked and under attack and they needed access to stop the hacking.
"In actual fact they were the ones hacking.
"The priest is feeling pretty rotten about it."
The PSNI is investigating in conjunction with the bank and Action Fraud.