Trinity College Lost Nearly €1 Million To An Email Scam Last Year

Trinity College Lost Nearly €1 Million To An Email Scam Last Year

Trinity College Dublin has revealed that it was the subject of a major phishing scam over the past year. The scam targeted the Trinity Foundation - an organisation within the college which aims to liase with graduates in order to secure donations.

The scam sent emails to graduates on the mailing list purporting to be from the Trinity Foundation and asking for donations to be sent to private bank accounts. In a statement issued by Provost Patrick Prendergast and CFO Ian Matthews, it was revealed that the total costs of the fraud cost the college €974,781 - this total however is inclusive of both the donations that would otherwise have been given to the college, as well as the cost of the investigative process into discovering the extent of the security breach which led to the scam, and the associated legal and IT fees.

The college stated that, "The university is continuing its efforts to recover funds through legal action and liaison with its insurers and with police and state authorities in Ireland, the UK and Germany.”

The breach was discovered last year and in April an email was sent around to members of the Trinity Foundation alerting them that some of them may have received fraudulent emails. It stated that the phishing scam gained access to an email account belonging to the Trinity Foundation on Feb 7, 2017, meaning that there was a near two month period where members of the foundation were being targeted by the scam.

Despite the college making an announcement that the scam had occurred it did not divulge its losses until an annual spending report was made public in September, which showed the named figure.


It is unclear from the statements made by the college how they are dealing with the people who were affected by the scam and what measures are being taken to either reimburse them or ensure that their donations, originally intended for the college, eventually make their way to Trinity.

H/T: Trinity News

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Rory McNab

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