Great North Dog Walk founder Tony Carlisle bounces back from cyber fraud anguish to toast ‘magical’ wedding day

Tony Carlisle has been hit by an email fraud scam claiming he has been mugged in Turkey on the eve of his wedding.
Tony Carlisle has been hit by an email fraud scam claiming he has been mugged in Turkey on the eve of his wedding.

A delighted charity boss toasted a fairytale ending to a nightmare week – after tying the knot just a day after his wedding preparations were rocked by online fraudsters.

Cyber crooks hacked into the email account of Great North Dog Walk organiser Tony Carlisle, and sent out a plea for cash to more than 50,000 people in his mailing list on Friday morning.

It was a wonderful occasion - like something out of a Disney film.

Tony Carlisle

The message claimed Mr Carlisle and partner Nicola Greenan had been mugged by a gang of thugs while on a trip to Turkey, to make preparations for their wedding and needed £1,650 to sort out hotel bills.

But the 57-year-old was back at home in South Shields preparing to exchange vows with his bride-to-be and mother of his three daughters – who was reduced to tears by the scam.

Mr Carlisle was inundated with calls from friends and charity supporters who received the email concerned about the couple’s wellbeing.

Police are now investigating the fraud, which came just a day after Mr Carlisle was told the results into a skin cancer biopsy would also be delayed.

Mr Carlisle says health fears and a police probe were soon swept aside on a “magical” wedding day at South Shields Town Hall.

More than 120 people – including South Tyneside Mayor Richard Porthouse and predecessors, Councillors Ernest Gibson, Tracey Dixon and Fay Cunningham – saw the pair enter into wedded bliss.

Mr Carlisle, of Cauldwell Villas, South Shields, said: “It was a wonderful occasion – like something out of a disney film. It was magical.

“Nicola was a queen for the day – my jaw dropped when I saw her.”

The former Harton Technology College teacher says he is now eager for the police to find out who is behind the cyber attack.

He added: “It was all at the back of my mind.

“The police have taken action quickly as this could be a case of identity theft as well as being an email scam.

“The email mentioned I was preparing for my wedding, mentioned Nicola and my passport details and was sent the day before the wedding.

“The police are looking into it and we don’t know yet if anyone has sent any money as a result of the scam.

“It is reassuring that action has been taken so quickly.

“The police will only know if those people get in contact with them.

“I have thousands of contacts, from my charity work and my years in teaching.”

The new Mr and Mrs Carlisle enjoyed a short break at the Littlehaven Hotel following the ceremony.

Mr Carlisle added: “I just want to have a few days to relax.

“I just want to look forward to a lovely marriage.”