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K-State Today

January 16, 2015

FBI public service announcement: University employee payroll scam

Submitted by K-State Police Department

University employees across the country are receiving fraudulent emails indicating a change in their human resource status. The email contains a link directing the employee to login to their human resources website to identify this change. The website provided appears very similar to the legitimate site in an effort to steal the employee's credentials. Once the employee enters his/her login information, the scammer takes that information and signs into the employee's official human resources account to change the employee's direct deposit information. This redirects the employee's paycheck to the bank account of another individual involved in the scam.

Consequences of this scam:

  • The employee's paycheck can be stolen.
  • The money may not be returned in full to the employee.
  • The scammers can take the employee's log-in credentials and attempt to log into other accounts that belong to the employee.

Tips on how to protect yourself from this scam:

  • Look for poor use of the English language in emails 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 email and look for inconsistencies. If it is not the website the email claims to be directing you to then the link is to a fraudulent site. 
  • Never provide credentials of any sort via email. This includes after clicking on links sent via email. Always go to an official website rather than from a link sent to you via email. 
  • Contact your personnel department if you receive suspicious communications.

If you have been a victim of this scam, you may file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.IC3.gov. Please reference the public service announcement number, 01132015b-PSA, in your complaint.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center produced a public service announcement "Cyber-related Scams Targeting Universities, Employees, and Students," in May 2014, which mentioned the university employee payroll scam.