Cyber phishing scam puts $2 million in Nassau County taxpayer money at risk

MINEOLA, New York (WABC) -- The Nassau County Comptroller's Office fell victim to a cyber phishing scam that put $2 million of taxpayer money at risk.

Officials say Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman fell victim to the scam when the Comptroller's Office transferred the funds to a fraudulent account.

The incident took place in October, when someone emailed the county, pretending to be a vendor the office used in the past.

RELATED | Want a PS5 or Xbox Series X? Watch out for these scam warning signs
EMBED More News Videos

We all want that PlayStation 5 or Xbox One for Christmas! But, beware not to fall for a scam when trying to buy the sold-out product.

The email asked for a payment to a new account, which turned out to be a scam.

At the time, Schnirman claimed the amount transferred was only $710,000 and said the Comptroller's Office caught the scam.

However, after an investigation, Schnirman admitted that the Comptroller's Office did not catch the scam, but rather a bank employee who noticed the unusual activity and froze the stolen funds.

"After reading the report from the inspector general, I am deeply concerned by the comptroller's behavior, and question his ability to protect taxpayer money," Deputy Presiding Officer and Chair of the Legislature's Finance Committee Howard Kopel said. "The comptroller lied to the media, this legislature, and the residents of Nassau County in a desperate attempt to cover up his inability to properly manage money."

In total, 11 payments had been authorized between September and October of 2019, totaling just over $2 million.

MORE NEWS | 7 On Your Side shows how to score the best Cyber Monday deals
EMBED More News Videos

There are still plenty of deals out there if you know how and when to find them!

Eight of those payments, totaling $710,000, successfully went into the fraudster's account.

The money has since been recovered.

* More Long Island news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.