Scammers pretending to be Brandt Construction emailed a city of Rock Island accountant to update automatic payment information. After the fraudsters returned a form, the accountant called their company contact to confirm, following the city’s usual practices, only to discover it was fake. Scammers, that time, weren’t paid.
In Bettendorf, the city’s human resources director fielded an emailed request asking to change City Administrator Decker Ploehn’s direct deposit information. When the director, Kathleen Richlen, walked a paper form to Ploehn, he greeted her with surprise. He hadn’t requested a change. Again, the scammers were foiled.
In Rock Island County, scammers impersonating a construction company sent a June 1 email asking the county to update its banking information. The attached documentation looked convincing — a change-account document available on the county’s website and a letter from the vice president of commercial banking at Citizens Bank in Macomb, Ill., verifying the account and routing numbers. The county changed the information, and 18 days later wired $97,042 to the fraudulent account. A month later, another $18,061 was sent before the scam was discovered.