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Md. FD out $220K after online scammers hit transfer of funds during ambulance purchase

An investigation is underway into how the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department had funds stolen during the purchase of ambulances


Rockville Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook

By Bill Carey

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Rockville Volunteer Fire Department recently fell prey to online scammers who intercepted a financial transaction during the purchase of two new ambulances, successfully stealing $220,000.

President Eric Bernard mentioned that while working with a longstanding vendor, they were deceived during email exchanges and bank interactions related to wiring instructions for the down payment, WTOP reported. They were provided with fraudulent account details to transfer the funds. Bernard noted that now, all they know is that an individual, apparently located in London, has illicitly obtained a significant amount of money.

Bernard explained that there were no signs of trouble until a week after initiating the purchase when the vendor reached out to inquire if the RVFD intended to finalize the transaction. This caught the department off guard, as they believed the purchase had already been completed.

One of the banks managed to recover $100,000. However, the remaining $150,000 is still missing.