Cabarrus County scammed out of $2.5 million meant to build new school

Published: Jul. 31, 2019 at 10:55 AM EDT
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Officials say a North Carolina county got scammed when criminals posing as representatives of a construction contractor tricked county workers into transferring about $2.5 million into a bogus account.

The money was meant for construction of a new high school in Cabarrus County. A bank managed to freeze some of the transfer once officials realized they were being scammed, but about $1.7 million remains missing.

County Manager Mike Downs says employees followed protocols when they received a seemingly legitimate email request to update bank information from the scammers, who appeared to have valid identification and signed approvals.

County commissioners provided emergency funds so that construction on the school wasn't affected, and the county created a new authentication process.

The FBI says email scams targeting business accounts are on the rise.

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