Neighborhood Councils are being targeted by con artists utilizing the board’s public email addresses to try to bilk the Council out of their public funds. They may even ask you to front the money yourself or do something like buy a prepaid debit card or an iTunes gift card, and get reimbursed later.
These scammers will often create fake email addresses that mimic board member names, so even if you think you know who an email comes from, pick up the phone and call them to confirm that this request really came from them. In fact, it’s a good idea to institute a process among your board members to require a phone conversation as confirmation whenever money is discussed.
One other type of scam we’ve seen is where someone pretends to be an vendor that your Council has worked with, asking for payment for services rendered, so please watch out for that scam, too.
Thanks to all the sharp NC members who have already been reporting these issues to EmpowerLA! If you see anything suspicious, please forward it immediately to your Neighborhood Council’s field representative, so we can help.