GUILFORD, Maine — A March data breach at School Administrative District 4 has affected at least 55 employees, according to the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department.
Investigator Guy Dow said Monday the employees have requested police reports connected to the breach after becoming victims of identity theft.
The district has said anyone who received a W-2 from the district during the last filing period should take steps to protect their identities and determine whether their information was used to file fraudulent tax returns. The district includes Guilford, Abbot, Cambridge, Parkman, Sangerville and Wellington.
In late March, a district payroll employee received an email that appeared to be from Superintendent Ann Kirkpatrick, asking for employee W-2 information. The sender was a scammer. The employee sent along that information but redacted Social Security numbers. When the person or persons posing as Kirkpatrick pressed the district employee about sending Social Security numbers and birth dates, the employee became suspicious and the district notified police.
When several employees attempted to file tax forms this year, they discovered false ones already had been filed.
Dow said the investigation hasn’t revealed how the false tax forms were filed without access to the Social Security numbers. Kirkpatrick has speculated they may have been obtained through different means.
SAD 4 isn’t the first district to be targeted by scammers this tax season. School officials in Brunswick reported a similar scam attempt around the same time. Brunswick administrators responded in much the same way as Guilford, providing initial documentation but notifying police when the scammer posing as the superintendent requested Social Security numbers and dates of birth.
Dow offered no further information about his investigation and its progress Tuesday.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.