The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs is advising local business owners to watch out for possible identity theft involving fake government purchase orders.
The County has received complaints from businesses who received fake purchase orders, purportedly from Los Angeles County, requesting goods to be delivered to a location where, unbeknownst to them, the freight is immediately forwarded out of the United States.
In each of the cases, the fraudster(s) used the identities of current County employees that are listed in County directories, created e-mail addresses and domains designed to impersonate legitimate County accounts, and had goods delivered to a location they falsely claimed was owned by Los Angeles County.
Business owners who receive an e-mail purporting to be from Los Angeles County government should pay close attention to the e-mail domain. Fraudulent e-mails or purchase order should be reported to the Los Angeles County Fraud Hotline at (213) 893-7283 or (800) 544-6861. Fraud can also be reported online by visiting https://fraud.lacounty.gov/ or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Information via news release from Los Angeles County.]