Conservative outlet Project Veritas, which has been criticised for deceptive practices, says it got scammed out of $165,000

Conservative outlet Project Veritas, which has been criticised for deceptive practices, says it got scammed out of $165,000
James OKeefe, founder of Project Veritas, in 2017
James O'Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, in 2017. Laura Buckman / Getty Images
  • The right-wing outlet Project Veritas has itself fallen victim to an act of deception.

  • The group's founder said hackers had posed as attorneys to steal $165,000.

  • The group has been criticized for its hidden camera stings, and accused of pushing disinformation.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Project Veritas, a right-wing organization that uses hidden cameras and stings to expose alleged plots and wrongdoing by liberals, said that it lost $165,000 after being fooled by hackers posing as attorneys.

The group rose to prominence publishing footage purporting to show workers in labor groups, public bodies and media organisations saying incriminating things.

It has been criticized for selectively editing footage and pushing disinformation.

James O'Keefe, the founder of the group, said Monday that scammers persuaded employees of the group to transfer the money to them.

In a video posted on Twitter by a Project Veritas aide, O'Keefe said that it appeared the hackers had been monitoring his email correspondence with genuine attorneys who had requested payment.

"They actually impersonated the actual name of our lawyer, changing a few letters in the email address, replying in real-time to an email chain with our actual attorneys," O'Keefe said.

"It appears the fraudsters were watching, waiting for an invoice to be sent to us and then pounced, impersonating them, replying to a real email as the lawyer's name the moment the invoice came."

O'Keefe has previously been suspended from Twitter for operating fake accounts.

Insider has contacted Project Veritas for further details.

The group has close links with allies of Donald Trump. The New York Times in May reported that it had been involved in secret sting and surveillance operations against the former president's perceived enemies.

The hack compounds a bad couple of weeks for Project Veritas, whose New York headquarters were destroyed by Hurricane Ida on September 2.

Tech outlet The Daily Dot reported that the hack appeared to be a form of "Business Email Compromise," whereby scammers gain access to business email accounts.

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