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Information leak reveals Fresno was victim of national phishing scam that cost the city $600,000

Construction Scams

Information leak reveals Fresno was victim of national phishing scam that cost the city $600,000

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Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer disclosed details Thursday of a phishing scam that cost the city more than $600,000.

The scam targeted the city of Fresno back in 2020 under Lee Brand’s administration. The fraud was done through fake invoices that replicated a construction company that the city was working with. Mayor Dyer said the invoices had instructions to wire money to a different bank account.

“But everything else was exactly the same, which is why it did not cause any suspicions at that time,” he said.

Fresno wasn’t the only victim. The FBI opened its Fresno investigation in April 2020 and informed the city that it was part of a larger scam operation that targeted other municipalities in the U.S. All of them involved invoices from construction companies. Dyer said the agency requested the information remain confidential during the active criminal investigation.

Although Brand’s administration kept the information under wraps, Dyer said he disclosed the information during a closed session of the city council in early January 2021, when he first took office. Dyer said he was recently informed that there had been a public records request filed in December 2021, requesting information about a wire fraud. That request was never fulfilled, Dyer said, because the request was given to someone in the city attorney’s office who had no knowledge of the FBI investigation.

“At no time was there ever an attempt to hide information from the…

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