ITHACA, N.Y. –– Business owners should keep an eye out for fraudulent purchase orders that appear to come from government email addresses. Those emails could be part of a scam, Tompkins County said in a news release Friday.

Tompkins County’s Purchasing Division has identified a scam in where fake purchase orders are being sent to businesses, from official-sounding, look-alike email addresses from local government and even federal government agencies. According to a county press release the next step in the scam is that, “the purchase order requests that the items be shipped to a location not associated with the government agency.”

Tompkins County Deputy Director of Finance Andrew Braman said in a statement that, “businesses should carefully review purchase orders received from government agencies and confirm their authenticity, especially if the quantities ordered are significant and if the requested delivery address differs from the normal delivery address.” 

Any business wanting to validate that it has received an official Tompkins County Purchase Order should contact the County’s Purchasing Division at

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at