Mercer County school employees, other southern W.Va. group targeted in phishing scam

MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. — Officials with the FBI and West Virginia Attorney General’s Office are reportedly involved in the investigation into a data breach within the Mercer County school system involving the theft of personal information for employees.

The theft was discovered Thursday and included personal information for 1,800 employees from their W-2s like Social Security and tax identification numbers.

No student information was compromised, according to information from Mercer County school officials.

Beginning Monday, Mercer County school employees will be offered identity theft protection and credit monitoring for a year at no cost.

On Friday, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued a warning to employers statewide about an e-mail phishing scam that “has already targeted two entities in southern West Virginia.”

The entities were not named, but Morrisey said those affected had been notified.

In both cases, staff members reportedly received fraudulent e-mails from addresses similar to those of their chief supervisors. The e-mails were sent to human resource and payroll divisions requesting wage information and W-2 forms for all employees, according to the AG.

“Everyone must be careful and closely examine any request for employees’ Form W-2. Check, double and triple check any such e-mail to make sure it’s legitimate,” Morrisey said in a statement.

For other assistance, the West Virginia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division can be reached by phone at 1-800-368-8808 or online at

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