City of West Lafayette targeted by Hurricane Irma relief scam

In this Monday, June 19, 2017, photo, a person types on a laptop keyboard, in North Andover, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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WEST LAFAYETTE (WTHR) - Even though most Hurricane Relief Fundraising efforts are completely legitimate, there's actually a Hurricane Irma scam that has been uncovered. The scam is targeting a city right here in Indiana.

We got confirmation from the Chief of Police in West Lafayette that this scam is real and the con artist is actually using the email address of West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis.

An email was sent to the West Lafayette City Controller. The email came from the address of Mayor John Dennis.

Police say that con artist was trying to scam funds from the city's Hurricane Irma Relief effort by asking how much is the limit for money transfers. Police say the scammer, pretending to be Mayor Dennis, said the city needed to transfer $40,000 into a Hurricane Irma Relief Fund. That's when the City Controller got suspicious, according to police.

They believe that scammer actually cloned Mayor Dennis' email address.

Officials think it's probably someone from another country who went from scamming people to trying to scam local governments.

Detectives are investigating, but an arrest in unlikely.

Police in West Lafayette are now issuing a warning to everyone: have your guard up looking for scammers, even if the email address looks legit.