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Entire town scammed out of thousands of dollars

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Updated: 4/20/2012 12:54 am
PENNEY FARMS, Fla. -- A local town was the target of an internet scam that drained tens of thousands of dollars from its bank account.

It's a sleepy little town in Clay County where golf carts replace cars in the driveway, sidewalks are pristine and where people can enjoy a game of golf. But the Town of Penney Farms lost a lot pennies. "I was in shock," said Mayor Paul Bue.

The town was the target of an internet scam. "I never figured it'd hit our town," said Bue.

According to police documents someone posing as the towns manager emailed the bank asking for account information. The bank responded with balance and account numbers. Then the suspect asked to wire money. Through three separate transactions, $213,000 was sent to Singapore, Australia and Fleming Island. "They target someone, get information and are able to control electronics," said Bue.

The Fleming Island wire transfer raised eyebrows. It led police to a local man who said a women he met online lives in Egypt. The report says, that woman was going to wire him money, so he could mail it to her. That never happened, and luckily the sleepy little town woke up and realized something wasn't right. "That would've sent us into bankruptcy," said Bue.

There is some good news. The bank was able to stop some of the wire transfers, so all $213,000 is back in the town's bank account.

The Secret Service is now investigating.
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MyKinKStar - 4/20/2012 12:09 PM
0 Votes
ANY bank employee who 'emails' ANY information to ANYONE NEEDS TO BE FIRED! That is NOT the procedure EVER, regardless of who is asking or who they are, and totally - absolutely unacceptable! IF the town had lost any money, they would not be 'bankrupt' because the bank would have to suck up that loss for having an employee who obviously doesn't know the rules OR know enough to follow them! This is truly unbelievable.

imtellin - 4/20/2012 7:27 AM
1 Vote
sound as if they need to change banks !!! my credit union would require every deep dark secret,, i opened account with,, in order to let me have knowledge of my accounts,, let alone wire money, to out of country locations !!! and in those amounts ??? visa locks accounts ,when out of country transactions occur,, till you notify, them otherwise ...
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