University Employee Payroll Scam

FBI_Issued_scam_alertThe FBI released a public service announcement regarding an internet scam directed towards employees of universities.

It involves fraudulent e-mails that claim to be from the human resource department, and contains a link. The context of the email generally says that the employee needs to see their status changes.

The link goes to a website that is similar to the legitimate site. It requires the employee to sign-in with their credentials. Once the employee signs-in, the perpetrator takes that information and uses it to sign into the real human resource site. The perpetrator then changes direct deposit information to redirect the employee’s paycheck to another person involved in the scam.

There have also been fraudulent tax returns filed in the names of university professors.

The FBI provides the following tips:

  • Look for poor use of the English language in e-mails such as incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses. Many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers.

  • Roll your cursor over the links received via e-mail and look for inconsistencies. If it is not the website the e-mail claims to be directing you to then the link is to a fraudulent site.

  • Never provide credentials of any sort via e-mail. This includes after clicking on links sent via e-mail. Always go to an official website rather than from a link sent to you via e-mail.

  • Contact your personnel department if you receive suspicious e-mail.

reportingescamsIf you have been a victim of this scam, you may file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at Reference I-011315b-PSA in your complaint.

University students are also being targeted with a scam that reroutes their reimbursement money to other bank accounts.  If you or someone you know is in college and receiving student loans,  please click on the link for information.

Posted on 06/02/2015, in Potpourri and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Great information on how to tell! How hard could it be to find the owner of the account the funds are redirected to?


    • Hey Mindyme. I think they did find the account holder for the redirected funds which is why they say the funds went to another person “involved” in the scam. That means they have to clean up the entire ring.


      • A bank employee incorrectly entered my son’s account number when he was setting up a portion of his direct deposited pay to go to savings a few years ago. He didn’t check to make sure it was actually being done and found out nearly a year later the funds were going to someone else account. The bank made it right for him though.


        • Mindyme, what happened to your son reminds me of a call I received around 2003 wanting to know what I wanted to do with a CD that had matured, from a bank where I didn’t bank. Mistakes happen and most banks will do the right thing when it’s their mistake. Good for your son.


  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    Thanks for posting this alert, Xena.

    I hope anyone hurt by this scam is able to recover their money and have future account protection.


  3. Two sides to a story

    It seems there’s a scam for everyone and everything now. Not a day goes by when I don’t see a new one!


    • Hey Two sides! Right. Computerization is beneficial, but also brought out criminals.


      • White collar crime that costs all of us.


        • Yes, Mindyme. And, those colleges that came under attack either have to pay twice, or their employees don’t get paid. This is a problem with the public information age. Most email addresses for college professors are public or easily accessible.


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