About 25 Indiana University employees may be victims of tax fraud, but officials don’t believe it’s the result of a university security breach.
IU spokesman Mark Land said an email was sent out Thursday to all employees on all campuses informing them of the reports and providing basic tips to avoid identity theft.
Various IU offices were notified of faculty and staff who were unable to file their 2013 tax returns electronically because someone else had already filed using their names and Social Security numbers, Land said. After learning of the reports, University Information Technology Services ran tests to make sure databases weren’t breached.
“We haven’t found evidence it came from us,” Land said.
IU has a lot of sensitive data, but there are layers upon layers of security to keep that information safe, he said.
Despite being confident the information used to file the tax returns wasn’t leaked through university systems, IU sent an email to inform employees of the situation.
Any employees who believe they are victims of tax fraud should file a report with Indiana University police, according to the email. In addition, employees can request fraud alerts on their credit bureau records. There are also identity theft protection tips on the Indiana Attorney General’s website.
Land said this type of tax fraud is becoming more common. Similar incidents have occurred both outside and inside higher education, including Linn County, Oregon; Miami, Florida; the University of Northern Iowa; Oakland University; Arkansas State University and Purdue University, according to a post on the Protect IU blog.
“It could happen to any of us,” Land said. “We take the matter seriously.”
©2014 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.)