JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - According to a press release from Arkansas State University, officials are asking all students at the university to check their online accounts to verify the bank accounts are attached to their logins.
The university's information technology department and the university treasurer's office worked on an investigation to find out what happened.
Officials believe that phishing emails are believed to be the source of the redirection of money after five students found out there were attempts to utilize a link to direct deposits within their student accounts to redirect deposits.
"Recently, five students were discovered to have had attempts to utilize the link to direct deposits within their student accounts to redirect deposits," university officials said in the news release. "After two students reported missing deposits, the A-State Treasurer's office learned that three other students who had attempts on their accounts. Of the five, three have lost funds and are in the process of working with law enforcement to investigate this matter. The attempt on the two others failed."
A-State Vice Chancellor for Finance Dr. Len Frey said the situation was unfortunate and that the university is working to help students impacted to recover the money that had been taken.
University officials are asking students to reset their account passwords.
"Everything appears consistent with an email-based phishing scheme that enticed the students to give out their A-State login and password," chief information officer Henry Torres said. "We are asking everyone to check as a precaution and to see if we have any other students who fell victim to the scheme. Even if you do not have direct deposit set up, check to make sure there isn't a fraudulent account attached."
Specifically, officials are also asking students to check the A-State Payment System or myBill, to find out if there is a fraudulent account attached. Also, university officials do not ask for student logins or passwords through email.
Anyone with questions can contact the university treasurer's office at 870-972-2285 or by email at sasbillpayment@AState.edu.
A-State has been the victim of several phishing schemes and breaches over the past four years.
According to the UPD log, there have been three reports of financial identity fraud since Monday, Sept. 25.
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