Maine Oil Company Loses Money in ‘Phishing” Scam

September 16, 2009

A Maine heating oil company says somebody gained unauthorized access to one of its bank accounts and stole close to $150,000 while possibly viewing the private banking information of hundreds of customers.

Downeast Energy in Brunswick says the money was transferred out of a company bank account that receives funds electronically from some 800 heating oil customers. The company says it’s possible the perpetrators could have viewed private customer information such as names and bank account numbers.

Downeast Energy President John Peters says the company is working with law enforcement officials and has sent apology letters to customers.

The company says the breach occurred as a result of a response to a sophisticated “phishing” e-mail, a form of Internet fraud that aims to steal personal information.

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