Fake email leads Platte County treasurer to wire nearly $50,000 to scammer

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PLATTE CITY, Mo. -- Platte County was duped out of paying almost $50,000 because of a fake email.

Friday afternoon, Platte County Treasurer Rob Willard said he received an email he thought was from a presiding commissioner of Platte County. That email requested a wire transfer to pay state taxes amounting to $48,220.

“Because of the nature of this direct request from the commissioner, because it was Friday afternoon, and it seemed to be a very time sensitive manner, I expedited the process," said Willard. “I was given routing information from the fraudulent email and the wire was completed at about 3:30.”

When Willard spoke to the actual commissioner a few hours later, he realized someone had spoofed their email accounts.

“It is a shocking feeling, confusing feeling, immediately returned to the courthouse, got on the phone with the sheriff’s department, the FBI, filed a report.”

Platte County commissioners met on Wednesday with an auditor to discuss what happened and what happens next.

“Under no circumstances should this have happened, the processes are in place, the processes are good, I think based on my conversation with Rob Willard, our treasurer, this is an error," said Platte County Presiding Commissioner Rob Schieber.

The county is insured and they are in the process of reversing the wire. Willard says this does not affect information in the system nor taxpayers and Platte County residents.

He also says he will do everything he can in the future to ensure they are following proper procedures, and that he's truly sorry for his mistake.

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