Bank to refund fees to children’s charity

A leading bank is to refund €11,072 in charges issued against a children’s charity targeted by a credit card skimming scam following a public backlash.

The Jack and Jill Foundation, which helps seriously ill children with life-limiting conditions, confirmed the fees have been waived by AIB Merchant Services.

Last week, the Irish Examiner reported the charity had been ordered to pay the expense, despite having nothing to do with the transactions. The fees had been accrued after the charity was unknowingly used as a “test website” by an international credit card skimming gang.

The criminals were able to access random individuals’ bank card details.

The gang then used this information to make various donations to the Jack and Jill Foundation, among other groups, to confirm the cards were active, before taking large amounts of money from the cardholders.

When the charity uncovered the situation after recording over €160,000 in unusual donations, it immediately refunded the individuals affected.

But because the scam involved real transactions, AIB Merchant Services said the charity had to pay all related bank fees — a €11,072.41 figure that meant 688 hours of home nursing care for children had to be scrapped.

However, after the situation was revealed by the Irish Examiner, AIB contacted the charity to confirm the fees will be waived.

AIB Merchant Services said the issue has been “treated sympathetically”.

Carmel Doyle, spokes- person for the Jack and Jill Foundation said: “We shouldn’t have had to share this story publicly for something to be done, but we’re delighted it has been resolved.”

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