SOU scammed out of nearly $2 million

Ashland, Ore. – Southern Oregon University was the victim of a scam costing around $1.9 million.

SOU said a person or persons posing as an official contractor for a university construction project was able to trick officials into paying $1.9 million to a bank account the company didn’t control.

An investigation was immediately launched into the act of criminal fraud. SOU is working with the FBI with hopes the stolen money can be recovered.

SOU General Counsel Jason Catz said they’re carefully reviewing policies and procedures to ensure this type of incident doesn’t happen again.

“There are lessons here for anyone operating in today’s electronic business environment,” Catz said Wednesday in a message to campus. “We have learned from law enforcement sources that SOU is not the only victim of this particular scheme, which has targeted other U.S. higher education institutions.”

The university is currently trying to determine if insurance covers any of the losses.

The incident will not impact any university programs or operations and will not alter any construction projects.

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