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Omaha Company Became Victim of International Online Scam

Omaha.com reported on 5th February, 2015 stating that corporate cybercrime internationally hit The Scoular.co. which is one of Omaha's (Nebraska, US) oldest and biggest companies.

Scoular, founded 120 years ago and is an employee-owned commodity trader, has been tricked for $ 17.2 million in an international email scam.

The ploy is sending fake emails to executive of Scoular purporting to be from Chuk Elsea, Chief executive of Scoular and the company's external auditing firm. The fake emails asked to transfer millions of dollars through wire in three parts.

Keith McMurtry, senior employee and corporate controller of Scoular, was misled and he told FBI that he was not doubtful about three wire transaction requests as Scoular had been thinking to expand in China and the email address employed by the phony auditors seemed to be legitimate and he called on the telephone number provided in one of the emails and a person responded to it whose name was given in the email.

The FBI said that the first email on 26th June, 2014 told McMurtry to send $780,000 to Shanghai Pudong Development Bank which is a genuine institution. The following day he complied with another instruction to send $7 Millions and after three days he sent further $9.4 Million.

The scammers used email addresses of Germany, Israel and France and used servers situated in Moscow.

Elsea said that the company had not been impacted by the scam but confessed that it would be hard to recover the funds even though FBI was trying to get it back.

The main victim seems to be McMurtry as he is no longer one of the 800 employees of Scoular.

Nebraskaradionetwork.com published news on 5th February, 2015 quoting Jim Hegarty, President and CEO of Better Business Bureau - Nebraska as saying "this is a proof to justify the sophistication of these scammers".

Hegarty elaborated: "You do not understand the level of their professionalism until you have been on the receiving end of these and interacted with these individuals. It is easy to be judgmental but we need to remember that Scoular is the victim here who sent the money."

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