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Rathbones Folio loses £30k prize money to cyber scam

In the UK, the Bookseller has revealed that the Rathbones Folio Prize lost £30,000 (A$53,500) to an email fraudster last year, while other awards, publishers, agents and industry bodies have reported a rise in cyber attacks.

The £30,000 in Rathbones Folio Prize money was sent to a scammer posing as last year’s winning author Valeria Luiselli, after the scammer requested payment via online payment system PayPal.

Rathbones Folio Prize executive director Minna Fry confirmed that ‘The Folio Academy foundation was targeted by sophisticated cyber criminals in March 2020, which resulted in the loss of funds intended for the 2020 Rathbones Folio Prize winner Valeria Luiselli’. Fry added that Luiselli was awarded her prize money in full, and the lost funds were absorbed by cost savings elsewhere within the charity.

Administrators for the Baillie Gifford Prize, the Society of Authors (SoA) and Forward Prizes for Poetry also received hoax emails purporting to be from the prize winners.


Category: International news