City of Ocala falls victim to phishing scheme

Law enforcement agencies in Marion County and the Federal Bureau of Investigation say the City of Ocala has been targeted by a phishing scheme.

According to city officials, the municipality received an email invoice from a contractor with whom they normally hire. However, when they made payment, the money was routed to a fraudulent account.  It is unclear how or when the city found out the money did not make it into the appropriate account.

A city spokeswoman said as soon as officials realized it happened, they contacted authorities who opened an investigation.

“This phishing campaign, they appeared to be a legitimate business and it was not,” said Ashley Dobbs. “Moving forward we’re going to make sure those processes are in place, that our employees have the proper measures to identify these things, that was we minimize future impacts.”

The city said no personal information belonging to the city's residents was compromised. Law enforcement has not identified any suspect in the case.