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Saskatoon says it has recovered all of the $1 million it lost in internet scam


November 22, 2019
By The Canadian Press

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SASKATOON — The City of Saskatoon says it is on track to recover all of the money it lost in an online scam earlier this year.

The city lost $1 million when a fraudster electronically impersonated the chief financial officer of a construction company that had a contract with the city.

The culprit asked to have a payment sent to a new bank account and the city complied.

The city had previously said it had managed to trace and recover most of the money and an Ontario court has ordered the return of the remaining $335,000.

The outstanding funds had been the subject of a court hearing because three parties claimed they had been unwitting victims of the fraud scheme as well.

But the city says none of those parties provided enough evidence for a trial.

The funds will be held in trust until a 30-day appeal period expires.

“This is exactly the outcome we have wanted,” city manager Jeff Jorgenson said in a release. “We are grateful to the court and for the efforts made by many people and organizations to recover this stolen money.”

In the wake of the scam, Jorgenson said the city was reviewing its financial controls to make sure it is secure from future attacks.

These kind of attacks have happened before.

Two years ago, MacEwan University in Edmonton reported that it had been defrauded of $11.8 million when three staff members were fooled into changing the electronic banking information of a construction company.

The university said it was able recover $10.9 million because of a quick response by the school, lawyers, banks and the police.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2019