County Executive Warns of Scam Email


Recipients Should Disregard, Delete Message from Inbox

Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Media Information Officer

Chautauqua County’s Executive issued a warning Monday that fraudsters posing as the Executive are sending scam emails to close contacts. Recipients, the executive warns, should disregard and delete the message from their inbox.

Throughout the day on Monday, several individuals and contacts of Executive PJ Wendel received an email claiming to be from the County Executive, listing Paul M. Wendel, Jr, Chautauqua County Executive, as the contact name.

In one instance, the sender asks the recipient to purchase gift cards for county employees as a “surprise,” thanking them for their hard work. The Executive is supposedly in a meeting and unable to acquire the gift cards himself.

The email address,, is fake and not associated with County Executive PJ Wendel. If received, it’s best to delete the email and report the sender.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, this type of scam email is a “spoof” when someone disguises an email address, sender name, phone number, or website URL — often just by changing one letter, symbol, or number — to convince you that you are interacting with a trusted source.

In this case, an impostor created this new account in an attempt to disguise themselves as the county executive and lure the recipient into purchasing a gift card.

Criminals count on being able to manipulate recipients into believing that these spoofed communications are real, which can lead you to download malicious software, send money, or disclose personal, financial, or other sensitive information.