Crime & Courts

KU employees fall victim to phishing scam, lose paychecks

Three employees of the University of Kansas did not receive their most recent paychecks after they were targeted by fraudsters recently.

The employees were victims of an e-mail phishing scheme, which asked them to update their payroll information, allowing scammers to change the account numbers for their direct deposits in the university’s payroll system, according to state and university officials.

Five employees responded to the phishing e-mail, and three saw their pay affected, according to Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, a spokeswoman for the university.

John Milburn, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Administration, which handles the state’s human resources, said KU informed the agency about the lost pay last week.

Because each university runs its own payroll system, the question of whether to compensate the employees for the lost wages is up to the university, Milburn said. He said the state’s larger payroll system was not affected by the phishing scheme.

Barcomb-Peterson said in an e-mail that the university’s human resources and IT departments would be updating the payroll system “for enhanced security.”

“In the meantime, employees must take a request form and photo ID and make changes to their direct deposit information in person,” she added.

She did not immediately answer whether the three employees affected by the scam would be compensated for the lost pay.

Bryan Lowry: 785-296-3006, @BryanLowry3