⚫ Bad actors continue stealing direct deposit paychecks from NJ workers

⚫ Authorities have a warning for New Jersey residents

⚫ How you can prevent a scam

The New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communication Integration Cell has issued a reminder alert to all workers in the Garden State who have their paychecks deposited electronically.

According to Krista Valenzuela, the NJCCIC bureau chief for cyber threat outreach and partnerships, scammers are impersonating employees of companies, reaching out via email to their company human resource or payroll departments and submitting a change in their bank account information for where their payroll checks are to be deposited.

She said if the change is made, the money is diverted to the bad actor’s account and it’s usually gone by the time anybody realizes what has happened.


It’s easy to get your personal information

She said scammers are able to get an employee’s information in a number of ways, including from social media sites or directly from a business or organization’s website.

She said the best defense against this kind of threat is having the employee be proactive, reaching out to their company and telling them “a request to change information such as direct deposit details are only completed if they receive the confirmation from the employee themselves, by calling a number that they have on file.”

Valenzuela said workers should reach out to their HR or payroll department to make sure they have the correct cell phone number.


Check the current policy

“It's always a good idea to check on your current policies and procedures to see if this is already in place, and if not, absolutely reach out to those HR departments to make sure those policies and procedures are put in place to prevent this type of activity from occurring," she said.

She pointed out that if scammers do wind up stealing your paycheck, your company will still be obligated to pay you “but that means there might be a delayed paycheck."

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David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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