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Broome County: Dozens scammed by phishing email, exposing personal information

BROOME COUNTY (WBNG) — 12 News is breaking down a major security breach that one county official says affected dozens of county employees.

Broome County Director of Information Technology Jim Dutcher calls the incident Broome County’s first breach of this magnitude.

Describing the incident, he says, “bad guys will send an email to the victims that looks somewhat like an originating Broome County official email of sorts.”

He says the county first found out about the breach when an employee had their direct deposit information changed without authorization.

According to the county, those employees spanned more than a dozen departments. Information at risk includes employee’s names, social security numbers, bank account and medical information.

Direct deposit details, however, were the only confirmed by the county to be compromised.

Dutcher says going forward, there’s the risk of personal information being used for more harm.

“That information can be bought and sold and people opening up bank accounts, credit card accounts in somebody else’s name and then using them fraudulently.”

Dutcher says right now, no employee is out any money due to the incident.

To fight further damage, he says security around access to and changing of employee information will be tightened.

Dutcher says it’s unknown who is behind the incident.

“It’s unknown whether we’ll ever be able to pinpoint said bad guy or people that did this,” he adds, but says the investigation is ongoing.

If you’d like more information on the incident, the county has set up a helpline. Just call 1-866-775-4209.

Julia Gorman

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