Afognak Native Corp. Loses $3.8M In Cyber-Swindle

An Alaska Native village corporation in Kodiak was the victim of a multimillion dollar cyber-swindle last month.

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According to a statement by the corporation’s attorney, Alutiiq LLC, an Afognak Native Corporation subsidiary, lost $3.8-million through an unauthorized transfer to a fraudulent account in Hong Kong.

According to Peter Boskofsky’s statement, a fake email account was set up in Europe under the name of company CEO Greg Hambright, which was then used to perpetrate the fraud. The scam artist sent an e-mail, and then phoned, a controller at a corporate bank Afognak uses requesting an urgent transfer of the money to the HSBC Bank account of a fictitious third party in Hong Kong.

The transaction was not discovered for two days, but when it was, Boskofsky said a freeze was requested on the foreign account, the FBI was contacted and stricter money transfer protocols have been put into place. He added that Afognak’s company computers were not breached and their customer and shareholder information remained secure.

Afognak Native Corporation, headquartered in Kodiak, is a village corporation created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act for the descendants of people from Afognak Island. It has about 900 shareholders.