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September 29, 2015

Re:  I. Fraud Alert for New Jersey Municipalities
       II. October is National Cyber Security Month

I. Fraud Alert for New Jersey Municipalities

Dear Mayor,

We have been alerted that New Jersey municipalities have been targeted by thieves using email as a means to commit fraudulent wire transfers.

The scam involves sophisticated email spoofing and messages sent to municipal finance officials and banks where municipalities have accounts.  The emails give instructions to perform wire transfers and make it appear those instructions are coming from bona fide municipal managers or officials.

Fortunately, in the instances of which we are aware, the manager and the CFO had procedures in place to stop this type of fraud, but the scammers are continuing and are very likely also targeting other municipalities right now.

What should you do to prevent being a victim of this type of scam?

1. Make sure you have authorizations in place that do not rely on email.
2. If you receive this (or any) type of scam, do not reply to the sender. You will just be giving
them more information.
3. Report it to your Police Department or State Police immediately if they provide services to
your municipality.
4. Do not just forward the scam emails to the police. They will want the email headers which are
hidden. Instead attach the original emails to the email you are sending to the police. In
Outlook click on the Include paper clip icon in the top menu and select "Attach Item" and then
select "Outlook Item". A selection window will open up, scroll to the email and click on it to
attach it.

October is Cyber Security Awareness month and it looks like it will be a busy one.  Please alert your management and finance officers.

II. October is National Cyber Security Month 

Internet technology is infused in our everyday work and personal lives. Yet, the technology is still young and there are many opportunities for its misuse: From hackers trying to steal data or

disrupt your business activities, to social media users of all ages not understanding the risks to personal privacy and reputation.  Cyber security is something that affects everyone.

Each year, the country’s technology security organizations join together and designate October as Cyber Security month in an attempt to educate organizations and the public about cyber security risks and how to protect themselves from potential dangers.

What can you do?  StaySafeOnline.org has compiled a list of suggested social media posts available on their website for download. You can promote Cyber Security by posting links to some of the material on your website and social media profiles. 

The Department of Homeland Security has put together a month of themes designed to engage and educate.  Throughout the month the League will be posting tips and resources on its Facebook and Twitter feeds.  You may also follow this theme by using #CyberAware.

2015 marks the 5th Anniversary of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign, a national public awareness campaign to increase understanding of cyber threats and encourage the public to be safer and more secure online. This campaign provides tips for good online safety habits

Having the best security technology cannot help you unless you and your employees understand your roles and responsibilities in safeguarding sensitive data.  It’s important to train employees and educate the public so that they are able to identify risks.

Through a League partnership, NJ-GMIS provides the League’s membership with technology management support.  NJ-GMIS has also provided resources on their website; click here to view.  If you have questions about your technology, you can contact them with questions at njgmis@njgmis.org.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Darcy, CAE
Executive Director

 

 

 

 

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