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City of Ellensburg loses $185K to Cyber Scammers disguised as vendor

Originally published on KIRO Radio

City of Ellensburg loses $185K to Cyber Scammers disguised as vendor

Less than a month after it was revealed that King County lost $220,000 to cyber criminals posing as vendors, the City of Ellensburg was robbed of over $185,000 in the same way.

It happened when what appeared to be a vendor requested payments in the form of electronic bank transfers instead of checks.

This happens because people have been attacked via a Malware or phishing email attack! It only takes one business email comprise (BEC) clicked email to have this happen.

City of Ellensburg Finance Director Jerica Pascoe explained that just as in King County’s case, the masquerade was very convincing — the email contained the logo, email signature, and address that would be expected.

You can list to the radio embed here:

Note how this attack occurred all because of an email!

  • That’s right this was an impersonation email attempt that was successful. This is why it is going to be successful and these crimes will continue.

How could this attack have been prevented?

It’s simple if the City of Ellensburg was using a solution like our ChatFortress Email Guardian this email could have been identified. All email systems should be alerting you to first time communication. This would allow you to take 3 seconds to complete your phishing checklist.

email phishing software prevention

ChatFortress Eliminates Bank Transfer Wire Fraud and Eliminates Email Phishing Attacks!

Helping you verify the device and the person you’re sharing wire information with via our secure chat platform. When you need to validate the person you are sending information you need ChatFortress communication. To speak with a ChatFortress Agent call (307) 999-7755. If you want a demo you can Schedule a ChatFortress demo here.