Nassau County Recovers Money Lost In Phishing Scam

Cyber Attack protection tips
Photo credit Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Nassau County has recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars it had lost in a cyber attack.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says it all began with an email that appeared to be from a vendor of the county that was seeking payment but claimed its bank account had changed.

An initial investigation did not raise any red flags, so a payment was made for more than $700,000.

However, it turned out it was all a scam.

"The email looked like it was from a vendor but it was from the crooks," Ryder said. "The money ended up in Seattle."

Even though the money was then transferred into a number of different accounts, the county was able to get the money back.

"We were able to identify those accounts, follow the money to the additional accounts where that money was then spread out, and then we were able to seize those accounts," Ryder said.

Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman said, "If there's language that creates a strong sense of urgency such as, 'You must act now,' there are spelling mistakes, and the reply mail is a personal address," that may indicate the email is a phishing scam.