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City of Moline falls victim of cyber attack, now under federal investigation

The exact amount of the scam remains sealed right now as the insurance company works to recoup the lost funds.

MOLINE, Ill. — On Wednesday, it was made public that the City of Moline fell victim of a cyber-attack in form of a phishing scam. It was discovered by city staff in January 2021, and the apparent scam happened in December 2020.

A vendor that the City of Moline works with reached out and explained that it had not received payment for services completed. 

The city says upon that discovery, both an internal financial and external criminal investigation began. Because it is an ongoing investigation involving federal investigators, local police departments and at least one insurance company, the city has been told to limit the number of details released to the public as to not jeopardize the investigation or the ability to recoup funds.

The City of Moline says what they can share is:

  • The city has insurance in place to cover cyber crime. This limits the exposure to Moline taxpayers to a maximum of $20,000 regardless of whether none, a portion or all of the stolen funds are recovered.
  • As a result of the incident, the city reviewed all of its internal control policies with the assistance of its auditors
  • In addition, as part of the 2020 audit last Spring, the auditors performed additional testing of our expenditures made by ACH and via check. All confirmations came back positively confirmed, with no exception found.

"Because this incident remains under federal investigation, any further details regarding the details of the December 2020 cyber-attack cannot be disclosed." said the City of Moline's communications department.

News 8's David Bohlman reached out to Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati regarding this scam to ask for an interview. Mayor Rayapati put David in touch with Moline Police Chief, Darren Gault who said, "The Moline Police Department still has an open investigation into this matter and is working with federal authorities on the investigation. Due to that, we aren't able to divulge further information that may jeopardize the investigation."

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