Prince Harry forced to change phone number after being duped by Russian pranksters

Prince Harry forced to change phone number after being duped by Russian pranksters

Russian YouTubers pretended to be climate activist Greta Thunberg and prompted Harry to discuss the royal family and Donald Trump over two phone calls. The Telegraph report he sympathised with the plight of the island of Chunga-Changa and offered to help rescue penguins from Belarus, the former is fictional and the latter is land-locked. Buckingham Palace did have said this serves as a “wake-up call” and a “reminder” of the the potential dangers facing him in his new life abroad.

The hoaxers, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov contacted Harry by emailing an intermediary who was able to forward the messages on without checks.

The message had the subject “Call or meeting with Greta Thunberg” and claimed to be from Ms Thunberg’s director and was set up in the name of Ueli Maurer, then Swiss President.

Harry contacted them in December from his personal email address from the property on Vancouver Island, he is renting with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

He would go onto ring them but did not withhold his number.

Mr Stolyarov told The Sun: “We were shocked when he emailed us.

“No one ever checked us out to see who we really were.”

One royal source said: “It perhaps highlights that there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, never publicly spoken about, to ensure things run smoothly and are hitch-free.

“While it may appear effortless, the appearance of accessibility and openness sits atop a lot of work.

READ MORE: Prince Harry may cancel Invictus Games as coronavirus fears grow

One aide warned Harry and Meghan about starting to believe their own “hype”.

They explained: “You can be as accessible, relaxed and as informal as the media portrays you, but as soon as you act like that, mistakes can happen.”

The full audio is expected to be released today and extracts already released sees Harry share his thoughts on the “good soul” of Boris Johnson.

Harry also claimed: “We operate in a way of inclusivity and we are focusing on community, and so we are completely separate from the majority of my family.”

Harry was due to return to Britain for the London Marathon next month.

That event, however, has been delayed until October due to coronavirus fears.

 

Their is concern that organisers will have to cancel the Invictus Games in The Hague in May.

This month will mark the end of Harry and Meghan’s time as full-time working royals.

The couple are expected to split their time between Britain and North America.

Published at Sat, 14 Mar 2020 05:27:00 +0000