Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 15.11.13Local children’s Charity, Children North East, is warning other charities and businesses to be on their guard after their phone lines were hacked costing the charity hundreds of pounds.

Telephones at Children North East’s head office in Newcastle were hacked over the weekend clocking up £680 on premium rate numbers on the other side of the world.

The Charity, currently in the middle of its Christmas Appeal, found out about the intrusion when their phone company, O2, informed them on Monday morning.

Chief Executive, Jeremy Cripps, said: “We provide support to children, young people and familieswho are in desperate need of our help.  It’s dreadful to think someone would steal from a charity especially at this time of year.  Every Christmas we collect thousands of gifts, food, practical items and money for families in need.  The £680 we are having to now pay for stolen phone callsshould have provided support for children and families.  

As an organisation we take security very seriously and we would like to thank O2 for looking out for us and bringing this to our attention before any more damage could be done.” 

The Charity’s Giving Tree Appeal is still open and can be donated to by visiting