Boulder, non-profit hit with email, financial scam

BOULDER — The city of Boulder and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless were victims of an email and financial fraud scam.

The city reported that a scammer gained unauthorized access to the email system of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, impersonated shelter staff and sent email requests to the city to change  the bank account information used by the shelter to receive city human services funding. The city processed the change and later transferred $18,333.33 to the fraudulent account as part of a routine payment to the Boulder Shelter.

When the problem was discovered, the city contacted the city’s bank to attempt to reverse the payment and also turned the case over to police for investigation.

The city in a statement acknowledged that new financial procedures established in 2017, specifically rules to verify authenticity of bank account requests, were not followed. The city Finance Department is conducting an internal investigation related to the fraudulent activity and the failure to comply with city procedures. While the city will not comment on specific personnel matters, it will take appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination of staff.

The city will also put additional measures in place, continue to closely monitor accounts payable transactions and will provide additional training to staff on financial procedures and verification protocols, according to the city’s statement.

The city encouraged community members to remain vigilant about possible scams and financial crimes. People who believe they are victims of a crime should contact the Boulder Police Department at 303-441-3333 and file a report, or use the online reporting tool.

 

BOULDER — The city of Boulder and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless were victims of an email and financial fraud scam.

The city reported that a scammer gained unauthorized access to the email system of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, impersonated shelter staff and sent email requests to the city to change  the bank account information used by the shelter to receive city human services funding. The city processed the change and later transferred $18,333.33 to the fraudulent account as part of a routine payment to the Boulder Shelter.

When the problem was discovered, the city contacted the city’s bank to attempt to reverse the payment and also turned the case over to police for investigation.

The city in a statement acknowledged that new financial procedures established in 2017, specifically rules to verify authenticity of bank account requests, were not followed. The city Finance Department is conducting an internal investigation related to the fraudulent activity and the failure to comply with city procedures. While the city will not comment on specific personnel matters, it will take appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination of staff.

The city will also put additional measures in place, continue to closely monitor accounts payable transactions and will provide additional training to staff on financial procedures and verification protocols, according to the city’s statement.

The city encouraged community members to remain vigilant about possible scams and financial crimes. People who believe they are victims of a crime should contact the Boulder Police Department at 303-441-3333 and file…