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Hacker cheats Lackawanna County out of $56,000

An online hacker stole more than $56,000 from Lackawanna County, the county said in a statement Wednesday.

The hacker infiltrated L&A Tent Rentals and mimicked its emails to get the county to pay $56,689 for tents for the county arts and culture department.

The department uses the tents for its annual Winter Market on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton. The rentals were for the market last year.

The county paid the bill in January, then learned the actual vendor did not receive the payment.

The county paid the actual vendor, filed an insurance claim for the loss and reported the theft to the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office.

County systems were not hacked.

The statement said county officials would not comment further because the case is under criminal investigation.