Scam targeting University of Iowa employees could happen to anyone
Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -
It's a scam more than 100 people at the University of Iowa have fallen for. An email asks employee's to confirm their HawkID, exposing personal information, and then the scammers try to redirect an employee's direct deposit paychecks.
"People are falling victim to it because they're not really stopping to check it out," said Joe Brennan, University Spokesman. "They believe it's authentic and then they enter the ID and the password and at that moment the bad guys have just taken control."
More than 100 people have clicked the link, 20 have had accounts redirected, and two have actually lost money.
"It could happen to anyone, anytime," said Linda Hass, President and Owner of Future Systems Inc.
Hass's company does payroll for more than 400 clients. She sees similar scams all the time and says you should never send your social security number or banking information via the internet.
"That should always be a form that's turned in to the personnel office," said Hass.
If it is via email make sure it's encrypted.
"We're trying to educate the entire campus to be on their guard," said Brennan.
The University of Iowa is working with police to investigate who's hacking the information. They've also tightened security so employees can't access all information from home. Officials are also working to help people who've fallen prey by providing fraud insurance.
One of the reasons so many people at the university clicked the link is because the emails used campus terms and logos and seemed official. Experts say that's common and say one email address you need to look out for is IRS.com. The real address is IRS.gov.
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