School system investigating after employee’s email account hacked, system bank account information stolen

Published 12:06 am Thursday, July 11, 2024

SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury School System, Salisbury Police Department and state officials are investigating after a school system employee’s email account was hacked into and payment information was obtained.

A school employee reported to police on Tuesday that a supervisor’s email account had been hacked on June 28, said Sergeant Justin Crotty, a spokesperson for the Salisbury Police Department. Between June 28 and Tuesday, correspondence had been sent between the supervisor and the employee’s accounts about bills, totaling approximately $300,000, that needed to be paid.

At some point, account information from the school system was sent to pay the two outstanding bills, which turned out to be fraudulently created by the person who hacked the account, said Crotty. 

“A possible phishing scam is currently under investigation by RSS staff, bank officials and state personnel. In addition, we have contacted our insurance company about the possibility of a claim pending the results of the investigation. At this time, we are working proactively to alert proper authorities of the possible scam,” said Michelle Shue, communications director for the school system, in an email on Wednesday.

Shue also said that no debit transactions had been taken against the system’s account in relation to the phishing scam and that the scam did not involve personal information, payroll or employee benefits and did not impact employee payment operations.

Both Crotty and Shue said that authorities are working to investigate the incident further.