In a strange and curious case of email scamming, a letter was sent out in July to the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association members explaining a situation that happened over the winter. Columbia-Savin Hill’s treasurer received an email from a person she thought was from Desmond Rohan, president of the neighborhood group. The email asked for a wire payment to a vendor. The payment was made in addition to three more payments totaling $11,328.
BPD is involved in the investigation although it’s highly unlikely that the identity of email scammer will be revealed due to the fact so much time has passed. A formal police report has been filed.
Here are the details from the CSHCA website:
“I am writing on behalf of the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association (CSHCA) Executive Board to share some very unfortunate news with the membership. We are dismayed to report that the association has been a victim of fraud with regards to its’ treasury that was held at East Boston Savings Bank. This fraudulent activity resulted in the loss of approximately $11,328.00. This loss includes approximately $4,000.00 of proceeds from the Joe Chaison memorial diner fund that was planned to be used for neighborhood betterment projects.
On January 5th the treasurer, Nicole Chelkowski, of the CSHCA received an e-mail from what was believed to be from the CSHCA president, Desmond Rohan. The e-mail address was masked to give the appearance that the e-mail was coming from the President’s e-mail account when in fact it was not. The e-mail requested payment to a vendor. A payment via wire was made to the vendor on January 8th based on the instructions in the e-mail.
Further communication requested the account balance and additional fees for a grant application with immediate payment deadlines. Over the course of the month of January, three additional payments were made from our account to these fraudulent vendors. The total payments made from our account were $11,328.00.
New controls and safety steps have been put in place to avoid this situation in the future. You can read about them here.
Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.
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