Florida State University is warning its employees to be aware of a scam targeting other universities across the country called the University Payroll E-mail Scam.
“And, in the case that we’ve seen recently, people have attempted to use e-mails that purport to be from the institutions, saying that you’ve received a raise and to confirm the raise, you need to login to the payroll system to confirm the raise,” said Brian Rue, FSU’s Associate Director of Information Security.
And, Rue says when people login thinking they’ll get about a four-percent salary increase, the online criminals then steal that person’s account information. He adds it may not be limited to just stealing your information to get the paychecks.
“That if a user has your login credentials and your back-end information—your social security number, your tax information, your emergency phone numbers—if that is not protected on the back end, then it also allows the criminals to do identity theft as well as accessing your payroll information in an unauthorized fashion,” he added.
Rue also likened the situation to a notorious bank robber during the Depression era.
“This is going to be a situation where we’re going to constantly see this kind of activity,” he continued. “Because much like [John] Dillinger when they asked him why he robbed banks, he said, ‘that’s where the money is.’ Well, online criminals see this as an easy way to scam money, and generally, the consequences of being caught, especially if they’re in another country, there’s a very slim chance of them being prosecuted.”
Rue says while the phishing scam hasn’t made its way to FSU’s campus, they still want employees to be aware of it. And, he adds the university has already started taking precautions to reduce the risk of the scam. Other scams employees should be aware of include the one that claims your e-mail account is too full.
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