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Washington School District Targeted by Phishing Scam

Three staff email accounts at Kalama School District in Washington were compromised in mid-July, and now at least one student and several staff members have gotten fake emails from the district pretending to offer a job.

Phishing Scam
(TNS) — The Kalama School District reports fake emails from the district were sent to staff members and a student last month, offering a phony job opportunity in an apparent phishing scam.

Kalama School District spokesperson Nicholas Shanmac said three staff email accounts were compromised in mid-July.

At least one student and a few staff members were sent an email with the subject line, "PART TIME JOB OPPORTUNITY," offering $300 base pay for only two to three hours a day, plus the ability to work from home. Recipients were asked to click on a link in the email to apply to the phony job.

Shanmac said those who received the email were asked to delete it, and that this was the first time the Kalama School District sustained a phishing scam, which typically includes an email or website masquerading as a legitimate business or person to acquire sensitive information.

"To our knowledge, there have been no victims of this apparent phishing scam," Shanmac said.

Kalama Police Chief Rafael Herrera said the department was notified at about 1:44 p.m. Aug. 2 of the emails and that a parent "became aware of the scam and immediately prevented any further issues."

The Kalama Police Department is not currently investigating the incident, and the emails appeared to have originated from a "Google site to hide the suspect's identity," said Herrera.

Shanmac said the district added enhanced security like changing passwords related to emails and computer log-on access, plus a "rule set that evaluates the risk of a person's logon attempt." He said once staff returns from summer break, the district will institute a multi-factor authentication.

Shanmac said the district typically receives junk or spam emails from an "unrecognizable email address, the same sort of spam that anyone with an email account has to deal with from time to time."

©2023 The Daily News, Longview, Wash. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.