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Cyber crimes, scams targeting universities, employees and students nationwide

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Monday a ongoing problem with multiple scams targeting universities and colleges nationwide.

According to a news release, the Internet Crime Complaint Center continues to investigate scams involving fraud and intrusion. Along with universities, other targeted victims include school employees and students, the FBI said.

One of the cyber crimes entails "spear phishing" emails that are used by perpetrators to obtain user name and password information from university employees. Once the login information is obtained, the cyber criminals access the respective school's computer system to redirect employees' pay checks to another bank account.

Student victims are also being targeted for their student loan money. According to the FBI, perpetrators are accessing students' credentials to reroute reimbursement money to other bank accounts.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of these type of internet-related crimes is urged to contact university police and file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.

Below are more examples of the most common cyber crimes being reported to IC3:
  • Spear phishing e-mails are being sent to university employees that appear to be from their employer. The e-mail contains a link and claims some type of issue has risen requiring them to enter their log-in credentials. Once employees provide their user name and password, the perpetrator accesses the university’s computer system to redirect the employees’ payroll allocation to another bank account. The university employees’ payroll allocations are being deposited into students’ accounts. These students were hired through online advertisements for work-at-home jobs, and provided their bank account information to the perpetrators to receive payment for the work they performed.
  • Scammers are posting online advertisements soliciting college students for administrative positions in which they would receive checks via the mail or e-mail. Students are directed to deposit the checks into their accounts, and then print checks and/or wire money to an individual. Students are never asked to provide their bank account information to the perpetrators.
  • Perpetrators are compromising students’ credential resulting in the rerouting of their reimbursement money to other bank accounts. The reimbursement money is from student loans and used to pay tuition, books, and living expenses.
  • Perpetrators are obtaining professors’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and using it to file fraudulent income tax returns.
  • Some universities have been victims of intrusions, resulting in the perpetrators being able to access university databases containing information on their employees and students.


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