Notice of EFT Scam on Projects
November 13, 2019
Several school district projects have recently experienced a very sophisticated scam in which an outside party has claimed to be a contractor or subcontractor and requested a change in bank accounts to receive electronic funds transfer of payments. These attempts to steal funds have included numerous phone calls, demonstrating some knowledge of the project participants and processes, and providing false email and bank account records in order to convince project participants to transfer pending and future payments to a different bank account.
In furtherance of this scam, numerous project participants (A/Es, CMs, Contractors, Subcontractors, Owners, School Districts) reported that they had been contacted by outside parties seeking a list of contacts for the project. It is assumed that these requests may be the initial steps on how this scam is perpetrated, by learning enough about the status of the project and the directory of participants to later attempt to scam one of the parties. Some of these suspicious attempts to obtain the list of project contacts was portrayed as a small research project that would favorably highlight the benefits from the completed project.
If you are contacted, by phone or email, to change the routing of project payments to a different account, please independently verify through trusted project partners prior to making any changes. This may include requiring any changes to be made in-person during a standard project meeting.
In addition, if you are contacted by a suspicious party seeking information about the project and its participants, please ask further questions to determine who the party is prior to a release. Also alert the project's core team of any requests or attempts.
Chief of Projects
The information on this page is important for school district treasurers. If you are a treasurer on a newly approved project, and have not yet logged into our web-based tools, please fill out this Application for Access form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org to have an online account created for you. If you are new to the drawdown process, please watch the video below for a short introduction.
Auditor of State has an email address for school treasurers to use when submitting their certification of transfer for maintenance funds. It is: OFCC@ohioauditor.gov.