Scammers steal $3.2M for streetcar project and street resurfacing

Posted at 9:55 AM, Nov 03, 2016

Officials in El Paso, Texas have belatedly acknowledged that they fell victim to an email scam that directed $3.2 million in city money to fraudulent bank accounts.

Officials said during a news conference Wednesday that phishing emails caused two separate payments for a downtown streetcar project to be diverted.

The El Paso Times reports that city leaders learned of the scam in early October and that it involved someone posing as a vendor to obtain payment.

They initially said law enforcement asked them not to notify the public of the scam but then clarified Wednesday that no such request was made.

Authorities have recovered most of the money and the city for the time-being has reverted to issuing paper checks to vendors.