Cyber criminals have been targeting teachers across the state during the pandemic. Spectrum News has learned hackers used personal information from teachers to file fraudulent unemployment claims and the crime has apparently spread to other employers.
The hackers apparently broke into into virtual teaching portals, which were set up to make things easier while schools were shut down during the pandemic. To register to use them, teachers provided personal information.
Hackers accessed those tools and obtained the information of teachers, then used it to file unemployment claims in their name. The labor department and the schools didn't find out until authorities questioned districts about why faculty and staff were filing for unemployment.
That's also when authorities learned those who filed were not in the district, but hackers who broke into the systems from the outside. Authorities have yet to report on who did this and have yet to acknowledge the hack.
But sources tell Spectrum many school districts across state are dealing with it. The first to go public is Fairport, situated just outside of Rochester. The district informed staff on Friday some of its employees had been impacted by the hack. Most received unemployment forms or payments from the labor department even though they had not personally filed for it.
Sources told Spectrum News the crime did not appear to be the work of anyone within the school districts. The FBI, FTC and Department of Labor continue to investigate.