Grand Jury Blasts Lack of Oversight, Mayor Vows Changes

Main image to the post Grand Jury Blasts Lack of Oversight, Mayor Vows Changes

The city of Fresno suffered a significant financial loss in 2020 due to a phishing scam, amounting to over $600,000. This revelation came to light after a civil grand jury investigation, which concluded that city officials should have detected the scam before it resulted in the loss of taxpayer funds.

The fraud was discovered when city officials realized an invoice from a contractor working on a section of the Fresno police station was fraudulent. The invoice, while using the real contractor's letterhead, contained an incorrect account number. This discrepancy went unnoticed until a report by The Fresno Bee brought it to public attention in 2022.

The grand jury's investigation revealed that the city's finance department followed unwritten policies that were only understood through training. Furthermore, employees were supposed to obtain approval from another employee for large payments, a procedure that was not followed in this instance.

Phishing attacks are a common tactic employed by criminals who attempt to deceive individuals or organizations into divulging sensitive information. These attacks often involve emails or messages that appear to be from legitimate sources, requesting credit card details, passwords, or other confidential data. The goal is to gain unauthorized access to computers, companies, or financial accounts.

The grand jury's findings highlighted the need for improved fraud prevention measures within the city of Fresno. Mayor Jerry Dyer, who was not in office at the time of the scam, acknowledged the jury's recommendations and stated that the city has already implemented new training and updated procedures to mitigate the risk of future phishing attacks.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09