A transnational fraud ring is specifically targeting America’s federal procurement offices and vendors, according to an alert the Homeland Security Department’s Office of Inspector General issued this week.
Last July, the OIG discovered that members of a ring based in Atlanta, Georgia had posed as a Homeland Security procurement official to get their hands on computer equipment supplied by private vendors. Diving deeper into the case, the IG found that the fraudsters were also stealing electronic equipment from other agencies including but not limited to the Commerce, Defense, Labor, Justice and Transportation departments.
“Some of the purchase orders identified were for hundreds of thousands of dollars each,” the OIG said.
In their scheme, the phony actors find federal government solicitations for equipment such as hard drives or smartphones, and send fraudulent requests for quotations to federal vendors from across the nation. Though the RFQs use the legitimate names of procurement officials, the schemers use their own phone and fax numbers and they are also known to spoof government agency email addresses, using domain names such as “rrb-gov.us.”
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