Crystal City Council Member Warns Against Fraud
A sophisticated email phishing scam is not only stealing people’s identities but their money too.
Nancy LaRoche has served on the Crystal City Council for more than two years. In her other job, the Crystal advocate is a graphic artist who often works from home. Recently, Nancy was hit by crime, and she’d like to erase from the page of life.
“This was very sophisticated,” she said.
LaRoche noticed her paychecks weren’t being deposited in her bank account. She immediately thought that something must’ve happened to her direct deposit company.
But the human resources department at her workplace pointed to an email from LaRoche dated back in February. The email asked HR to change LaRoche’s direct deposit.
But, LaRoche didn’t write that email.
It turns out, cyber crooks set up a fake email account and used a different IP address, pretending to be LaRoche. They even used her signature.
Since the payroll official thought LaRoche sent out the email, she redirected LaRoche’s paycheck to the new account. Criminals wound up receiving three of LaRoche’s paychecks before LaRoche knew something was amiss.
The Crystal resident continued receiving payroll documents saying her money was in the bank. After looking closely, she found the account number listed on the statement was different from her account.
Took her identity and money
LaRoche is not the primary breadwinner in her household, but the missing cash still caused hardship and headaches.
“It hurt bad. We dipped into our retirement savings to cover ourselves for a month,” explained LaRoche. “I was shocked and horrified.”
She’s sharing her stories in hopes of preventing someone else from having to go through the same thing.
Meanwhile, Crystal police are investigating this case. They remind people not to give out their social security number and account information. Also, when you received an email that looks like it’s from a person you know, always check the email address next to the name of the sender to verify it’s legit.