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City of Burlington become victim to $503,000 phishing scheme


City of Burlington said that it has become victim to $503,000 phishing scheme. The staff of the City received one "complex phishing email" that requested to change the banking information of an established and well-known city vendor, whom with the city has been doing business, said the city in a press release. The city added that one of their staff members has made a transaction to the "falsified bank account" after getting the email request.


Around $503,000 has been transferred to the falsified bank account on May 16, 2019, said the city. The city added that they learned about the fraud after a week on May 23, 2019. Once the city realized their blunder on May 23, 2019, they immediately informed their bank as well as the Halton Regional Police.


Marianne Meed Ward, the Burlington Mayor, said in a press release that "this was a case of online fraud with falsified documents at a level of sophistication not typically seen and we are taking the necessary steps to prevent it from happening in the future". The Burlington Mayor added that this stresses on the fact that it is important for all to remain vigilant and recognize signs of phishing, online fraud, as well as other scams, and then report them to appropriate authorities -- so that nobody becomes victim of these kinds of criminal activity.


The Burlington City has since put in more internal controls to avoid a similar kind of incident from happening again. The city added that its IT system has not been compromised, and any type of personal information was not stolen or shared. The city also said that "a full review of our current processes will determine the need for other changes".


Tim Commisso, the Interim City Manager, said that they are taking this incident very seriously. The staff of the City took prompt action including notifying the members of Council along with their Audit Committee after the incident got first discovered. Commisso added that "we are working closely with the police on their ongoing criminal investigation and we have also initiated an independent external investigation of the incident which will be part of our reporting back to Council and the Audit Committee".


» SPAMfighter News - 7/2/2019

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