Scottsboro school employees compromised in phishing scam

(Source: Raycom Media)
(Source: Raycom Media)
Updated: Mar. 6, 2018 at 6:06 PM CST
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SCOTTSBORO, AL (WAFF) - Several employees at Scottsboro City Schools received rejection messages while trying to file their income tax returns.

The messages said that someone else has already filed a return with their social security numbers. After investigating, the school board discovered the payroll department has fallen victim to an email phishing scam.

At least 30 employees with the school system have been impacted by this data breach.

Superintendent Jay Reyes said they first learned about this a few weeks ago when an employee reported problems while filing taxes.

At that point, the school board was not able to identify how the incident originated. But they did email employees about steps they were taking with Harris Solutions and Alabama Supercomputer as part of their investigation.

Then over the weekend, they found evidence that the payroll department was the target of an email phishing scam.

Reyes said the person in the email posed as the superintendent and requested W-2 information from employees, something the school board would never do in an email. However, some employees did provide personal information, leading to their identities being compromised.

"Basically, what's happening is they're getting confirmation that a fraudulent tax return has been placed and then, basically, what the individual will do at that point is they will have to file the old-fashioned way, via paper as we used to," said Reyes. "You know, we would have to mail it in. So what they will have to do is mail it in. They will get their tax return. It will be a delayed tax return."

Reyes said some employees have had no problems filing and have already received their returns.

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