Saskatoon files insurance claim after $1.04M lost to fraudster
The City of Saskatoon has filed a claim to its insurer in an effort to retrieve the $1.04 million it lost in a fraud scheme, a city spokesperson says.
Police investigators and banking institutions are also working with the city to try and recover the cash.
“The fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated all the time,” said Alyson Edwards, a Saskatoon police spokesperson.
Edwards was unable to go into detail about the investigation in finding the city fraudsters, but said officers are working with other victims of scams to draw parallels.
"You want to look at whatever evidence we have, compare it to whatever other cities have experienced and see if there are any similarities.”
The Saskatoon scam is one of the largest municipal scams in Canada,
Recovery 'not impossible'
At least one IT expert has hope the cash will be recouped.
Jon Coller, the University of Saskatchewan’s chief information security officer, told CTV News it’s not impossible to recover the cash – as long as the money is still in a bank.
“Provided people act fast enough and the money hasn’t moved too far, it is definitely possible to recover,” Coller said.
In August 2017, Edmonton-based MacEwan University lost $11.8 million in an email scam. Officials transferred the funds into an account believed to be a university vender. In April 2018, the university announced it had recovered $10.92 million.
However, city manager Jeff Jorgenson told reporters Thursday that recouping the money would be a challenge.
“There is no guarantee that any of the funds can be recovered or will be recovered.
“What I can say is we’re doing everything we can do recover as much funding as we possibly can.”
Mayor Charlie Clark said he believes there is a chance the funds will be recovered, but for now he hopes the incident can serve as a cautionary example.