Puerto Rico Lost $2.6 Million on Phishing Scam

Puerto Rico Lost $2.6 Million on Phishing Scam

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Yesterday, the Police shared a complaint issued by the director of finance of Puerto Rico’s Development Company, also referred to as PRIDCO and FOMENTO, reported this past Monday that back in January 17th they mistakenly transferred $2,609,496.67 into a fraudulent account abroad perpetuate via an email scam that mislead one of their employees in making the payment.

The president of the Public Security Commission of the House of Representatives, Félix Lassalle Toro, filed a resolution today to investigate the alleged electronic fraud occurred in the Industrial Development Company (Pridco) and the Administration of the Retirement System of the central government.

The legislator also said that he will be citing security network engineers, officials of Public Security Agencies, as well as executives of technology companies, for an executive view to delineate strategies that prevent cyber attacks on government systems.

“The security of government computer systems is a priority for this Commission. Therefore, we will be conducting a thorough investigation of what has just happened in Pridco and Retiro, not only to place responsibility on those who failed, but also to ensure that this does not happen again. The people have the right to know, transparently, everything that happened in this matter,” said Lassalle Toro, by written communication.

Lassalle Toro said he hopes that the DSP, along with federal authorities, will quickly find those guilty of this illegal penetration of government systems.

“Criminal acts such as this electronic fraud that is reported in the local press today puts the people in tension, as government data systems have everything from names, addresses, property records, medical information and even bank accounts. We cannot allow indiscriminate people to have access to all that information,” added Lassalle Toro.

The legislator said that as part of the investigation “an action plan will be drawn up between the private company and the government to intervene with this type of crime, which is booming before the growth of the Internet and social networks.”

For his part, the president of the Senate Public Security Commission, Henry Naumann also filed an investigative resolution.

“This can not be allowed. Where are the controls in the government agencies? ”, He asked in an interview with El Nuevo Día. “Although we don’t know the details, how so simple are two million dollars lost that could have been used to meet the needs that we have right now?

Neumann acknowledged that he would like to know if this type of fraud has occurred in other government agencies.

“And that it is an employee who submits the complaint on their own reflects that in management there is a lack of controls over the money being managed,” he said.

The independent senator, Juan Dalmau Ramírez, said he will write a request for information that the Senate has to authorize so that the governor Wanda Vázquez gives an account of all the cyber attacks that have been white agencies and public corporations in the past 10 years.

“How is it possible for a single official to have, on his own, the authority to deposit $2.5 million in an account by means of an e-mail notification?” Dalmau Ramírez asked. “That to me is scandalous and if there was a protocol, it was not followed.”

Dalmau Ramírez also called on the Retirement Systems Administration to explain, to the extent that he can and in order to protect any ongoing investigation, if a similar fraud occurred in the agency he directs.

“In any country in the world where buoyant finances are located, this would be scandalous, but in a bankrupt country where every penny counts, that this has been handled in such an irresponsible way is criminally criminal,” he said.

The popular spokesman in the House of Representatives, Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez, will also send a letter to Governor Vázquez requesting information and also send a letter to the Board of Directors of Pridco requesting explanations.

“I want to know what actions the Board will take in terms of administrative investigation. You also have to make a letter to Laboy (Manuel, Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce) who is the director of the umbrella,” said the legislator.

In the case of the popular senator Aníbal José Torres, he said he is worried about the filters that PRIDCO has to issue a judgment on a millionaire disbursement of funds.

“How is it possible that a month later the agency officials say they heard about the FBI?” Torres questioned when referring to expressions that Laboy made this morning.

“It remains a government where impunity reigns. No one is responsible. If this had happened in a private business, responsibilities had already been established here,” said Torres, who wondered why the Office of the Inspector General is not involved in the investigation.