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Direct Deposit and Wire Fraud

Learn more about the signs of direct deposit and wire fraud and how to avoid becoming a victim

Reports of Direct Deposit and Wire Fraud are on the rise. UC San Diego has been a target before, which means you can be too. Learn more about the common tactics and what is being done to minimize the risks for campus

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Reported incidents

  • A fraudster may call a department directly asking them to facilitate a change in banking information on behalf of a supplier
    • They may issue the department a 'certified' letter on supplier-specific letterhead and using a supplier email address
    • They may mention specific campus projects or purchases to come across as a legitimate source 
  • A fraudster may send a casual email that might make a recipient on campus falsely assume that it was sent by an acquaintance
    • Emails have been sent using a real employee name, with a false email address such as 'president.chiefexecutive(at)aol.com' with a message as simple as, "Are you in the office now?" 
      • This sparks back and forth dialogue between the campus member and the fraudster, who ultimately asks for some type of rush payment such as a wire transfer

Minimizing risk

  • A two-step verification process has been implemented which is triggered whenever new banking or payment information has been submitted by a supplier or a department to Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions
    • Note this may increase processing time for banking or payment information changes 


  • IT Services Security offers detailed information about cybersecurity across campus
  • Forward suspicious emails to abuse@ucsd.edu and report information security incidents to the ITS Service Desk (https://servicedesk.ucsd.edu858-246-4357)
  • Report supplier scams to Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions via ASK (login required), or 858-534-9494)

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See also

IT Security