PETERBOROUGH, NH (CBS) – The town of Peterborough, New Hampshire has lost $2.3 million in taxpayer money in an email-based fraud scheme.
The town sent money to cybercriminals, instead of the ConVal School District and a contractor working on a bridge project. Town officials don’t believe the funds can be recovered and are unsure if it will be covered by insurance.READ MORE: Fire That Destroyed 2 Dracut Police Cruisers Was 'Intentionally Set', Officials Say
The U.S. Secret Service is investigating and believes the email scam originated overseas. The Secret Service said the funds were converted to cryptocurrency.READ MORE: Moderna's Vaccine Is Most Effective Against COVID Hospitalization, But Pfizer And J&J Also Protect Well, CDC-Led Study Says
“These criminals were very sophisticated and took advantage of the transparent nature of public sector work to identify the most valuable transactions and focus their actions on diverting those transfers,” the town said in a press release Monday.MORE NEWS: Framingham Latest Community To Ask National Guard For Help Driving Students To School
Staff members from the town finance department who were directly targeted have been placed on leave, though it is not believed anyone from the town was involved in the crime.