STUDENTS at the University of Central Missouri claim to have lost thousands of dollars in financial aid after what has been deemed a phishing scam.
The news came the same week the university sent out a message to students regarding a cyber incident.
FOX4Students at the University of Central Missouri lost thousands of dollars due to a cyber scam[/caption]
GettyTwo students came forwards stating that they lost more $4,000 in federal loan money[/caption]
“I’m a single mom with an 8-month-old baby and a full-time college student, so it’s a pretty big deal,” said Bailey Nield, a senior at the University of Central Missouri, told local Fox station KDFW.
She told the outlet that more than $4,000 in federal loan money was supposed to have been transferred from the university’s financial aid office to her bank account, but it suddenly disappeared.
Nield claimed that her bank account and savings account were where they were supposed to receive her financial aid.
“I called the financial aid office, and it said it looks like you’ve been hacked,” she said.
Nield received what she now knows was a spam text that asked her to verify a passcode.
She only responded to the message because she thought it was from her university.
The passcode is what she believes allowed hackers to take her money before it was ever deposited into her account.
However, another student who lost money did not receive a suspicious text like Nield did.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” said Drew Sherrod, who also lost about $4,000.
Sherrod’s mom, Terry Martinez, called the school to question what happened to his loan.
“The finance lady looked it up and she said, ‘Oh we transferred it into your Navy Federal Credit Union account.’ I said, ‘That would have been helpful if we actually had a Navy Federal Credit Union account,’” Martinez recalled.
The school claimed that Sherrod must have clicked on an email that gave hackers access to his money.
“I knew he hadn’t clicked on anything,” Martinez said.
Martinez believed that the blame was solely on the school which had sent out a message to students earlier that week alerting them to a cyber incident with the school’s computer system.
The school claimed in its statement to students that the cyberattack had affected “entities in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois,” and that it was working with the FBI and state and local authorities to resolve it.
“There continues to be no indication that student and employee personal information has been compromised,” UCM insisted.
Martinez doesn’t believe that her son or the other students who lost money should be responsible for having to repay federal loans for money they never received.
The adamant mother thinks that should fall on the university.
“These federal funds were put in your hands, and you are responsible for them,” she said.
The U.S. Sun has previously reported on multiple cyber hacks including one about a man who lost $50,000 to a scammer who claimed to be a PayPal representative over email.
A scam email claimed that Jeff Feeney had a $876 transaction and needed to call the number provided in the email for help.
“That’s a significant amount of money, and I just feel terrible about how it evolved and how I wasn’t being more thoughtful,” Feeney told local ABC affiliate WLS.
The U.S. Sun has reached out to the University of Central Missouri for comment.