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Sedgwick County Vendors targeted by Email Spoofing and Phishing Scam


Sedgwick County, located in Kansas, United States, was hit by an email scam two years ago, when it suffered a loss of half-a-million dollar. Two years later, someone pretending as an official from Sedgwick County targeted the county's vendors, looking for sensitive business information.


As per the spokesman - Van Williams, the current scammer, who claims to be an official of Sedgwick County, managed to 'spoof' an email address of the county. The scammer then sent an official-looking email message to several vendors, looking for information on the older financial transactions with Sedgwick County.


Van Williams said that the scam attempt came into light when a vendor, after receiving the email message, contacted an employee of the county in order to question about the suspicious email message that their company had received. The spokesman added that immediately the contacted county employee "appropriately informed the right people in finance. They called IT (the Information Technology Department) and they called the sheriff".


However, a statement that was issued by the Sedgwick County said that it is believed that neither any money, nor any sensitive information has been exchanged. Joe Currier, Information Technology Infrastructure Director of the county said that "the emails were generated by a malicious actor who is unassociated with Sedgwick County".


The spokesman - Van Williams - further added that the county has been trying and working to let the vendors know that they should watch out for suspicious communications which claims to have come from government.


Although spoofing as well as "phishing" for information which can be used for engineering a scam is very commonplace now-a-days, there is a very high level sensitivity to that in Sedgwick County.


It was only two years ago in September 2016, when the Finance department of the county got tricked and lost a hefty sum of more than $566,000. This happened when the scammer spoofing himself as the Cornejo and Sons Construction employee, got the Sedgwick County to change the routing number of the bank on a contract payment. Scammer George S. James, aged 48, from Georgia's Brookhaven was arrested later for the crime and pleaded guilty for the same. Eventually the county got back $466,000 of the stolen amount, as $100,000 was insurance deductible.


» SPAMfighter News - 1/7/2019

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