Hacker poses as Gants Hill charity founder in attempted con

A hacker gained control over a Gants Hill woman’s charity email account to ask for money with a sob story.

The hoax email was sent to the mailing list of charity EKTA, written in the name of its founder and chief executive Ramesh Verma, 69.

The email said Mrs Verma was in Madrid, and she had misplaced her possessions, with no internet access.

The hacker, posing as Mrs Verma, asked for a loan of 2,850 Euros, which would be refunded upon Mrs Verma’s “return”.

But the charity founder was safe and sound in the UK.

She said: “There must be something wrong with the people who do this. But they don’t realise they are doing so much harm to others.”

Mrs Verma said she and her family received “about 500” phone calls from people who had read the email and were worried about her.

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Even contacts in Spain emailed back offering her a place to stay.

Many said they were about to send money, but EKTA’s project manager contacted everyone on the mailing list explaining the hoax, before anyone did so.

EKTA, which means unity, is a 25-year-old good cause which helps about 120 elderly Asian people who feel isolated, confused, and depressed due to the language barrier.

The hacker erased Ms Verma’s inbox, which has caused the charity some problems.

This is the first such issue the charity has had and Mrs Verma thinks the culprit could be someone who knows information about the good cause.

Despite this the proud OBE said: “It’s made me realise how much support I have.

“It made me realise that when I die there will be a lot of people at my funeral!” she joked.

Police are investigating the case.