A number of Derry people are believed to have had more than 100 times their normal charity donation taken from their bank account following an “administrative error” by Concern Worldwide. The charity has issued an apology following the blunder which has affected about 6,000 of its supporters across Northern Ireland.
In a statement on the organisation’s website the charity said that an error has been made processing the monthly direct debits of some of their supporters.
It continued: “Because of this, we have requested a larger amount than their normal monthly donation. On discovering this error we did our absolute utmost to stop the payments, but unfortunately this was not possible.”
The charity said that all the money will be paid back along with any bank charges incurred.
Concern’s UK executive director, Rose Caldwell, commented: “We apologise unreservedly for the error and any problems this may have caused”.
“As soon as we became aware of the problem, we took immediate action to rectify it by contacting donors directly. We are conducting a rigorous investigation into how this error happened to ensure it will never happen again.
“Without the support of our donors, Concern would not be able to deliver its life-saving humanitarian work to vulnerable people worldwide.”
The organisation is urging those affected to get in touch with their bank as soon as possible to process what is known as an indemnity claim - the fastest way to be refunded.
If for some reason people cannot file an indemnity claim, then Concern says it will process the refund. However, that method will take longer.
A number of people affected took to social media yesterday to voice their concern on the incident.
Fiona from Derry, tweeted: “Nearly had a heart attack about this morning. Don’t have £700.”
A total of 24,700 people across the UK were affected. Supporters of the charity in the Republic of Ireland did not experience the error.