Phishing scam tricks Texas school district out of $2.3 million

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The Manor Independent School District, which is located just outside of Austin, fell victim to the phishing scam in November. Manor Police Department Det. Anne Lopez told KEYE that it handed over the money in three separate transactions.

The district said the local police department and FBI are investigating, and that there are strong leads in the case. It never released any further details about the incident.

CNN reports that the school district serves more than 9,600 students, according to its Facebook page. Manor is about 15 miles from Austin, Texas.

Phishing scams usually involve emails in which criminals try to convince people to hand over details such as passwords and banking information. As these messages often look legitimate, many victims click on their links without realizing it’s a scam. The same technique was used to steal the explicit photos of celebrities in the 2014 incident known as Celebgate, aka The Fappening. The hacker in that instance sent out emails posing as an Apple or Google employee, tricking account holders into revealing their usernames and passwords.

While phishing can still bring in the money for hackers, it’s often not as effective or damaging as ransomware. In the middle of CES last week, Las Vegas almost became the latest city to fall victim to what’s suspected to have been a ransomware attack. As of October last year, there were 81 incidents of ransomware affecting local US governments.

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Capaill

TS Evangelist
How? How do you hand over $2.3m without first checking that it's all legit? I wouldn't even send $10 without first making a few phone calls.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Educational Facilities are known for being a bit lackadaisical when it it comes to security and double checking anything. For a number of years I have watched all manner of schools from K-12 to senior universities get conned on a wide variety of issues and offerings. Sadly, there are so many educational consultants out there you would think the educational folks would try a little harder to educate themselves!
 
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Misagt

TS Evangelist
you would think the educational folks would try a little harder to educate themselves!
I met many an educator who thinks themselves too brilliant to be duped. Yet they usually aren't that bright outside their particular field. It's like asking heavy weight lifter to run a race they are usually too specialized to do it.
 
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Capaill

TS Evangelist
Educational Facilities are known for being a bit lackadaisical when it it comes to security and double checking anything. For a number of years I have watched all manner of schools from K-12 to senior universities get conned on a wide variety of issues and offerings. Sadly, there are so many educational consultants out there you would think the educational folks would try a little harder to educate themselves!
Good to know. One moment, I need to write a letter.

Dear School Facility Administrator,
your school has been awarded a prestigious Excellence Award.
In order to house this rather large trophy, you will need to construct a Trophy Exhibition Room in line with Code 17, Rule 3A and 3E.
Please send $600,000 to the construction company that my secretary will provide details for and we will begin construction immediately in the new school term.
Once again, congratulations on receiving this award. You should be very proud.
I would like to remind you that, in accordance with our security guidelines, you must not go public on this award for at least 7 months.
Kind regards,
Ura Shmuck.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Good to know. One moment, I need to write a letter.

Dear School Facility Administrator,
your school has been awarded a prestigious Excellence Award.
In order to house this rather large trophy, you will need to construct a Trophy Exhibition Room in line with Code 17, Rule 3A and 3E.
Please send $600,000 to the construction company that my secretary will provide details for and we will begin construction immediately in the new school term.
Once again, congratulations on receiving this award. You should be very proud.
I would like to remind you that, in accordance with our security guidelines, you must not go public on this award for at least 7 months.
Kind regards,
Ura Shmuck.
You 're overlooking the rest of the money, which is somewhere over $1,000,000 dollars. It's in Nigeria, building schools for underprivileged children. The school administrators should feel good about themselves> The were ripped off for a just and meaningful cause.. :rolleyes:
 
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