Fraud fears close Cabrini school early

Staff writerMarch 18, 2014 

The impact of a data breach at the Archdiocese of Seattle has hit the South Sound, causing St. Frances Cabrini Catholic School in Lakewood to shut down early Tuesday and prompting other schools to issue warnings.

The Lakewood school said in an email it was closing at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday “so that staff, volunteers, and parents have the opportunity to take the necessary steps to protect themselves from the recent tax fraud.”

St. Frances Cabrini also canceled all afternoon and evening activities and afternoon preschool Tuesday. The school offers pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

The archdiocese said on its website that some Social Security numbers of employees and volunteers have been used in fraudulent tax returns for 2013.

O’Dea High canceled classes and Bishop Blanchet High in Seattle closed early Friday so that staff members could deal with the threat of identify theft, The Seattle Times reported.

Monday was a regularly scheduled day off for students at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma. On the school’s website, an update from president Robert Modarelli advised volunteers past and present to contact the Internal Revenue Service.

“At this point, we recommend all those who have volunteered for Bellarmine in the past 7-10 years take prudent steps to check first with the IRS to determine if your personal data has been used to file a fraudulent return,” Modarelli wrote Friday.

The compromised data could include Social Security numbers provided by volunteers for background checks.

Modarelli provided links for help at: bit.ly/OwxdkS. The archdiocese’s updated instructions are at: bit.ly/1kYbtws.

On its website, St. Charles Borromeo School in Tacoma advised: “If you are a current or past parent, volunteer, staff member or parishioner who has volunteered at St. Charles, please check with the IRS immediately regarding a breach of Social Security numbers and/or tax fraud.”

The archdiocese has hired a forensic-security firm to help investigate the breach, which has resulted in employees and volunteers being targeted by a national tax-fraud scheme. It is recommending all employees and volunteers call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490, ext. 245 to determine whether their tax identity has been compromised.

Steve Maynard: 253-597-8647
steve.maynard@thenewstribune.com
@TNTstevemaynard

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