Attempt to scam Derry City Council out of £100,000

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Media captionDerry City and Strabane District Council incurred no financial loss

An investigation has begun into how the former Derry City Council paid almost £100,000 to a fraudulent bank account.

Derry City and Strabane District Council was told how the scam was discovered after a contractor raised concerns that they had not been paid.

The council had received a letter "purporting to be from the contractor", outlining a change in bank details.

A spokesperson said: "Thanks to swift action by both the bank and council staff, no financial loss was incurred."


A meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council, which replaced the old council on 1 April, was told on Wednesday how the payment was made on 17 February.

However, on 24 February the company contacted the council's finance department to inform them they had not received the money

A day later, a council investigation discovered it had recently been notified of a change of bank details.

The contractor said it had not changed its account, and the police and bank were contacted.

The bank account that the money was paid into was frozen, and on 1 April, the full £99,426.24 was returned to the council.

An internal management investigation is under way, the meeting was told.

A council spokesperson said its procedures "have been reviewed and further strengthened in this area to minimise the risk arising from similar attempts in the future".

"The council urges local businesses to be vigilant regarding all financial transactions, and to report any suspicions immediately to both their bank and the police," they added.

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