Cyber Oregon Expert Offers Insight on PPS Fraud Attempt

In yet another example of the impact cyber criminals can have on our lives, Portland Public Schools nearly transferred $2.9 million to the account of a scammer posing as a legitimate contractor. This incident had a fortunate ending when the fraudulent transaction was discovered by Wells Fargo and the money returned to PPS.

In reporting on the incident, KOIN 6 News tapped Charlie Kawasaki, CTO of PacStar and vice chair of the Oregon Cybersecurity Advisory Council to lend his insights into what happened, and how organizations can prepare themselves to avert such incidents.

Here’s what he had to say to the news organization:

“There are the more sophisticated scams which are really just fraud using computers, where a criminal organization might do a bit of research and send you an email that looks like it’s coming from your boss to an accounting department. It can say ‘Hey, can you very quickly perform a wire transfer for us? We forgot to pay our bill’ and so someone in a hurry in the middle of the day or the middle of the week might then fall for that when it looks like it’s coming from your boss.”

Watch the full news report below, or head over to KOIN 6 here.