Health and Fitness

Fresno officials shed light on $400K phishing scam of taxpayer money, why it likely won’t be recovered

FRESNO, Calif. — Fresno City Hall is on the heart of a global hacking rip-off.

The metropolis confirmed to Action News hackers based mostly exterior the United States have been in a position to steal $400,000 in taxpayer a refund in November 2020.

Mayor Jerry Dyer spoke to the media Wednesday after this story was first printed by The Fresno Bee.

“The contractor had been sending regular invoices to the city for payment, and the city during the time received an invoice from what was thought to be that contractor,” stated Dyer.

Dyer says the hackers focused giant invoices associated to the development of a brand new $7 million police station in Southeast Fresno.

“It mirrored the invoices that they had received in the past, almost identical, the difference was a different bank number,” added Dyer.

“Any given day, they are blocking thousands of spam and attempting to defraud the city or enter a virus into our system. As a city, we spent millions of dollars recently to upgrade our security systems,” stated Councilmember Miguel Arias, representing District 3.

City officers defined that they saved quiet on the state of affairs on the request of the FBI to stop disrupting different ongoing circumstances that could possibly be linked to the identical scammer, additionally stating that they don’t imagine that the earlier administration performed a task within the rip-off or protecting up any emails.

“A city council member who had sent an email to the city manager regarding the case turned that over to the Fresno Bee. That email did not contain the words wire fraud, which is why it was not discovered in the search conducted by the information services department,” defined Dyer.

“We do believe that there is little to no chance that we will receive our money back, that we’ve lost, but it’s an important lesson for the whole community to learn,” added Arias.

At this time, officers have recovered round $1,600 {dollars}, calling this the biggest monetary loss within the metropolis’s historical past.

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