Number of tax refund fraud victims at Ball State U. climbs; source of breach unknown

Eighty employees of Ball State University have become victims of tax refund fraud, and the numbers seem to be growing each week, while both the university and Anthem say that they are not responsible for the problem.

In response to its employees’ problems, however, BSU has created an identity theft information line.

Seth Sablaugh reports on the known victims of tax refund fraud:

Reports filed with city and county police show the victims include an associate vice president, a dean, assistant deans, assistant department chairs, directors and other senior officials in information technology, human resources, the controller’s office, the student center, the health center, the athletics department, the career center, the university foundation, the library, the human performance lab and counseling.

Numerous faculty also have filed police reports, but so far no clerical/maintenance/union/non-professional staff have done so other than a couple of office coordinators.

As we have seen in other cases, the fraudulent tax refunds are loaded on prepaid cards which the criminals then drain. Sablaugh reports:

One BSU economics faculty member told police he received a tax refund in the mail of $8,395.10 on a pre-paid T-Mobile Visa card. When the professor and his wife called T-Mobile, they learned $8.10 remained on the card. The card was cashed in at Walmarts in several California cities.

When an associate dean received a refund in the mail of about $8,400 on a pre-paid Green Dot card, he found out only $3 was left on the card.

Ball State University officials have asserted that investigations of their systems reveal no breach. And Anthem has said that there is no evidence that the Anthem security breach is related to fraud schemes at Ball State or anywhere else.

Anthem has not made clear what it would consider evidence of a causal relationship between their breach and tax refund fraud.

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