The City of Burlington fell victim to a phishing scam that cost the municipality more than half a million dollars.
In a release, the city said it happened when staff received what it describes as a “complex phishing email” requesting to change banking information for an established city vendor.
An e-transfer of $503,000 was made to a fake bank account that was believed to belong to the vendor and was processed on May 16.
The fraud did not result in the city’s IT system being compromised and no personal information was stolen or shared.
Burlington officials say these types of targeted attacks are all too common and can take many forms.
Governments and businesses are just as prone to scams as are individuals. In 2018 alone, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) received 2,263 reports of business fraud incidents of various kinds, with a total reported loss of $17,501,617. (Rob Curwain/JLW)