Following a security breach at Taylorsville’s Mitchell Gold-Bob Williams Furniture reported earlier this week, a similar scam has victimized Davidson County School Employees.
Scammers impersonating Davidson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Lory Morrow in an email to a central office employee gained access to hundreds of school employees’ personal and tax information, according to Sheriff David Grice. The sheriff said he has not seen a breach of information this large “in my tenure here, and not to my recollection in Davidson County.”
The Davidson County Schools administration announced the security breach to all staff members and the public Wednesday. Anyone employed by DCS during 2016 is at risk of their personal information being compromised, according to a statement from the system.
Grice said the scammer posed as Morrow in an email and requested tax information, including employees’ W-2s and social security numbers.
“This is an extremely elaborate scam, and it has been used in other parts of the country,” Grice said. “It is one of those unfortunate things where … an employee was under the impression that it was an internal request by the superintendent.”
Representatives from DCS declined to comment.
Employees received an email notification informing them about the level of information that had been accessed and were encouraged to file their 2016 tax returns as soon as possible, if they have not done so already.
Grice explained that because the scammers now have access to the employees’ W-2s and personal information, they could file false tax return requests. He said these types of scams are popular during tax season.
“That is really quite prevalent this time of the year,” Grice said. “We get dozens upon dozens of false tax returns being filed to people’s names.”
Grice said the Sheriff’s Office has begun an investigation to discover who led the scam.
“We initiated an investigation yesterday,” Grice said. “We will be contacting people from the federal level to see if we can get any assistance there. Unfortunately, with a lot of cases like this it is something where each individual employee is going to have to take precautions, and I understand that the school system has some steps in place to help those employees.”
DCS is in the process of setting up a call center to answer questions, and the system is offering employees a year-long identity protection service and IRS contact information to provide additional guidance, and to prevent fraudulent tax returns from being filed in their names.