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Back in March, City of San Antonio officials said $350,000 had been stolen from the city. The city has been able to recover about 40 percent of that money after freezing the fake account the funds were transferred into, but they are still trying to figure out who stole the money.
“This was extremely rare,” said City of San Antonio spokesperson Jeff Coyle. “This sort of thing does not happen often.”
A police report states sometime between March 9th and March 15th, someone claiming to be a vendor with the city since 2013 sent an email to a city employee requesting a change in direct deposit from Frost Bank to an account with Wells Fargo.
“They were defrauded,” said Coyle. “It was an identity theft essentially.”
The money ended up in a fake account.
“On the part of our employee, it was an honest mistake,” Coyle said.
City officials said by freezing the account, they were able to recover almost 40 percent of the money, and they hope to get the rest back.
“We are filing a claim with our fraud insurance company,” explained Coyle.
Since the incident, the city is now providing additional training for staff in the finance department.
“We are taking every step we can to address it,” Coyle added.
Training sessions include webinars on phishing, cyber security, and on techniques to detect fraud. The city has also asked a consultant to take an outside look at the system to see if any changes need to be made.
“You have to constantly stay ahead of those who are trying to defraud us,’ Coyle told us.
Investigators are still figuring out who stole the money.
“Certainly we want to see them brought to justice,” said Coyle.
The U.S. Secret Service is the lead agency on this case. We reached out to them, but since it’s an on-going investigation, they were unable to discuss any details.