The Fairfield-based Save the Children Federation acknowledged that it fell victim to a $1 million scam perpetrated by cybercriminals.
The nonprofit said that hackers gained access to its email system in 2017 and set up a fraudulent account. Using the bogus email account, the hackers generated false invoices and documents and lured the nonprofit into sending nearly $1 million to an alleged Japanese charity that claimed it was buying solar panels for installation at health centers in Pakistan, where Save the Children is active.
Save the Children was unable to stop the fund transfer after the fraud was discovered. Its insurance coverage allowed it recoup all but $112,000 of the stolen money. The incident came to light in a recent filing by the nonprofit with the Internal Revenue Service and was first reported by the Boston Globe.
“We have improved our security measures to help ensure this does not happen again,” said Stacy Brandom, chief financial officer of Save the Children Federation. “Fortunately, through insurance, we were ultimately reimbursed for most of the funds.”