By Jacob Misener
Editor 

County Commissioner Nolting falls victim to email hacking

 


Kimball County Commissioner Timothy M. Nolting was a victim of computer hacking early last Friday, with his personal email account breached by an unknown individual who then began to implement a solicitation scheme that sought financial assistance from many listed on his contact list.

“I’m just trying to recover right now,” said Nolting when asked about the events of Friday morning.

According to Kimball County Sheriff Harry Gillway, he was made aware of the situation around 6 a.m. Friday morning by local resident Dawn Fossand, who also attempted to contact the Observer seeking clarification concerning the email she received from Nolting.

“My first thought was ‘Oh. There must be a community project going on and the commissioners are asking for help with the project.’ I was shocked to see the content of the e-mail,” said Fossand. “Human nature - after reading this e-mail - is panic.”

The email that was sent to Fossand, among others, read as follows:

Hello

I really hope you get this fast, am really in need of your help, my family and I didn’t inform everybody about our trip to Manila, Philippines and really it was unannounced, but unfortunately things went bad when we were robbed last night of all our cash and cell phones and I sustained some cuts on my leg which I am currently treating.

I’ve reported the incident to the embassy but their response was just too casual, my problem is our return flight leaves in few hours, but I am out of cash to settle our hotel bills, please I need your help with some money, I promise to repay you immediately I get home. All I need is $1,400. Let me know if you can help me out.

We are running out of time,

Tim Nolting

Upon learning of the situation, Gillway attempted to email Nolting, but the attempt was unsuccessful, as the email bounced back immediately.

“When the email came directly back, that’s a sign of a bigger issue going on here,” said Gillway.

According to the Kimball County Sheriff’s Department, such schemes have been going on for the last 12 to 18 months, and often feature customized emails. The perpetrators often spend time reading through past emails, checking for recent travel destinations or business trips, and then craft the message to coincide with their findings, as well as the writing style of the affected individual.


Gillway says there are steps that can be taken to avoid such occurences, or at the very least, minimize the potential for computer hacking, which can lead to the obtaining of personal financial data, as well as computer login information.

“Have a password that fits military standards,” said Gillway. “Your password should contain no word in the dictionary, include at least one capital letter, one lower case letter, one number and one special character, such as a comma or question mark.”

If you believe you are a victim of a computer hacking scheme, please contact the Kimball County Sheriff’s Department at 308-235-3615.

 

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