City of Trenton Stops Sophisticated Vendor Phishing Scam in Its Tracks

Trenton to Launch Updated Cyber Security Training for Employees

Trenton, N.J. – Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that the City of Trenton will launch updated cybersecurity employee training over the next few weeks after the City successfully stopped a sophisticated phishing scheme that used fake email addresses and URLs to closely mimic official city accounts.

“We’ve heard of an uptick in fraudulent calls and emails against our residents throughout the pandemic,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Looks like City Hall is also a target, and this is just one of several cyber-attacks we’ve had to fend off over the last year. As such, we’re launching updated training modules for City employees to ensure those attacks continue to be unsuccessful in the future.”

The scam, which started targeting Trenton’s Request for Quote (RFQ) process in February, was uncovered by the City’s IT Department, under the direction of CTO Joseph Rivera.

Cyber criminals posing as the City Business Administrator – complete with phony emails and phone numbers – sent fraudulent RFQs to vendors for potentially millions in stolen goods. The CTO was able to track down that a spoof Website was created called “” with an email [email protected] on

After notifying vendors of the situation, the City reached out to the U.S. Secret Service Trenton Office, which worked with the City of Trenton IT and Law departments to convince that fraud had occurred. After a cease-and-desist letter was issued from the City, NameCheap took the appropriate steps to shut down the URL and all affiliated emails. To date, efforts to prevent damage from the scam have been successful, and no losses have been incurred by the City.

Following the scam, the City of Trenton updated its training protocols regarding cybersecurity and will launch an online training module for all employees in the coming weeks.

This event follows another attempted cyberattack in the Spring of 2020, in which a hacker diverted upwards of $982,000 in funds from the City of Trenton in relation to Brit Global Insurance Company. Trenton’s IT Department worked with the company as part of an extensive…