City of Moline confirms it was victim of phishing scam in December

A federal investigation into the incident is underway
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 4:45 AM CST
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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - The City of Moline this week confirmed it was the victim of a phishing scam.

The incident happened in December and was discovered in January when the actual vendor reported it had not received payment, Tory Brecht, communications coordinator for the city, said.

“Upon that discovery, both an internal financial and external criminal investigation into the matter were launched,” he said in a media release. " The incident remains under federal investigation, limiting the amount of information the City can share.”

Brecht declined to say exactly how much money was involved, citing the investigation.

He said the city has insurance in place to cover cybercrime, which limits the exposure of taxpayers to a maximum of $20,000, regardless of whether any of the stolen funds are recovered.

Brecht added that as part of the 2020 audit in the spring, auditors performed additional testing of expenditures made by the Automated Clearing House (ACH) and check. All confirmations came back positively confirmed with no exceptions found, he said.

The case is one of a number of scams targeting communities in the Quad Cities.

Rock Island County reported a similar vendor phishing scheme in June that results in the loss of more than $115,000. It is being investigated as a wire fraud case.

The City of LeClaire also reported it lost more than $220,000 to scammers who posed as vendors.

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