Alabama has now been added to a growing list of states with a doctor targeted tax fraud outbreak. Hundreds of physicians in Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Michigan, North Carolina, Vermont and Alabama have been impacted.
A bulletin from the North Carolina Medical Society recently said, “The majority of those affected first become aware of it when they receive an IRS 5071C letter advising them of possible fraud. Others are receiving a rejection notification when attempting to electronically file their tax return. It indicates it cannot be submitted because a return has already been filed under that Social Security number.”
Earlier week, the UAB IT Information Security Team received information that a half-dozen physicians associated with a local medical group affiliated with the Children’s Hospital of Alabama have also been victimized as a result of this scheme. We have unconfirmed reports that several UAB physicians may also be impacted.
We are in contact with the local FBI field agent regarding this matter and are asking if you or a physician you know has been affected by this, please contact UAB IT's Enterprise Information Security division at (205) 975-0842 or by email to email@example.com for additional information.
We believe that the possibility of a data breach or compromise is very low at this time however we recommend that all users take additional steps from an abundance of caution perspective. Those steps include 1) if you have access as an administrator to a system change your password(s) after you have verified that the vendor supporting your system has patched it appropriately, 2) increase your effort to mitigate those vulnerable systems identified on the weekly Nessus vulnerability report available at https://silo.dpo.uab.edu/vulnreport (if you need assistance please call Information Security at 205-975-0482), 3) please ensure that all systems that use SSL encryption services are fully patched, then restart the service on that system, 4) replace all SSL certificates on those systems with one provide free of charge from UAB IT from www.uab.edu/uabcrt (certificates from UAB are vetted, patched and kept up to date), 5) change all privileged account passwords immediately after vendor patches have been applied, and 6) be aware that many network devices and printers have embedded SSL based encrypted web based access portals which should be updated with vendor patches to mitigate this vulnerability.
We also recommend that all users with privileged access change their BlazerID passwords immediately as a precaution to mitigate any possible exfiltration of sensitive data by the OpenSSL vulnerability. And we also recommend that users change their personal passwords which they may use to access personal non-UAB web sites such as on-line banking and others to assist in reducing the possibility of becoming a cybercrime victim.
If you need additional assistance, please call AskIT at (205) 996-5555.
Individuals wishing to donate toys should place them in the designated collection boxes or bring them to the UAB Administration Building lobby by noon on December 10th. Toy collection boxes are located in buildings throughout campus, including the Administration Building, Campbell Hall, CH19, Cudworth Hall, FAB, Kaul Building, Heritage Hall, Hoehn, Lister Hill Library, School of Nursing, and the UAB Police Department just to name a few. Sterne Library is also participating again this year, and library fines not exceeding $25 will be waived when you bring in the overdue books and a new, unwrapped toy (applied to current overdue books and fines only).
For more information about the 20th annual UAB Holiday Toy Drive, contact Eric Thompson at 975-0250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the scam:
Support Desk Scams are perpetrated through a phone call. Typically, the scammer will have a thick foreign accent and claim to be from some company’s (e.g. Microsoft, Apple) Support Services in the Technical Department. The scammer will tell you something along the lines of “Your computer is seriously infected and has been causing a lot of trouble on the internet” or that “Your machine is at serious risk for infection”. Some scammers even offer you the opportunity to verify their ID by typing a specific command into your computer but this is not a legitimate method of verification. Once the scam caller feels they have your trust, they will ask you to take one of the following actions:
- visit a website that will allow them complete access to your machine
- download something they claim will help but is actually a virus
- purchase an item that will protect your machine but will do more harm than good and require you provide them will personal information.
What you should look for and know:
- Microsoft will never call you and say you’re machine is at risk/compromised or that you have been causing problems on the internet.
- Always ask for a call back number and say you’ll call them back. Google the phone number they give you. It is likely someone else has posted complaints about scammer online.
- Never purchase and/or download something blindly from the internet based on the suggestion of an untrusted source.
- Never give anyone access to your machine that you do not know and explicitly trust.
Remember, it is very simple to avoid being a victim by using caution. If you ever have legitimacy concerns about a phone call or an email, contact UAB AskIT @ AskIT@uab.edu or 205-996-5555.
Connecting an Android device to UABSecure
Qualtrics Research Suite (Surveys)
|UAB has an agreement in place with Qualtrics that provides a survey tool to the UAB campus community at a discounted price to what is available to individual users and schools direclty from Qualtrics. School-level subscriptions include faculty, staff, and students. All other subscription levels include only employees (faculty/staff). The licensing is for campus only and does not include the UAB Hospital. If your school or department previously had a subscription directly with Qualtrics, those subscriptions are now included under the discounted campus agreement. Contact AskIT for information on migrating your surveys to the new subscription.|