THE LATEST: A Citibank branch in Cedar Grove reported receiving a suspicious envelope containing an unknown white powder, one day after a similar delivery to an interior decorator for the New York Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys and several other pro sports teams was found to contain a letter threatening Citibank.
Inside one envelope sent to Girard Interiors in Westwood was another addressed to Citibank, which had abandoned plans to take over the site about 14 years ago, a merchant on the block said. “There was a gripe, plus a threat against Citibank,” the merchant told CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM.
The incident comes amid a spike in phishing involving Citibank, in which fraudulent e-mails claiming to come from the bank are sent to customers.
“Over the last few weeks, we have noticed a rise in the number of fraudulent e-mails,” the bank said in a statement last week.
“Citibank will never send you an e-mail asking for your confidential or sensitive information such as username, password, PIN, mother’s maiden name or date of birth.”
It also echoes the infamous “Chase Bank letters,” sent to dozens of Chase branches and other financial institutions in the fall of 2008 by a man the government said was upset over takeovers that he said cost him tens of thousands of dollars in losses. The hoaxer used a library on the University of New Mexico’s Albuquerque campus to access Chase’s web site and search for addresses for nearly all of the bank locations that later received white powder threat letters, authorities said. All 65 were postmarked Amarillo, Texas.
Westwood Avenue was closed for a few hours Monday while Bergen County’s Hazardous Materials Team took possession of the envelope.
Wendy Girard, who has owned Girard Interiors, with her husband, David, for more than a dozen years, was seen “walking up and down the empty street for two hours,” a neighboring merchant told CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM.
The FBI and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office have been notified.
The Girards have serviced many high-end clients, including the Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, CBSHD, FOX, and CNBC, according to their web site.
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