UH graduates’ bank information compromised in data breach of cap and gown supplier

HOUSTONHerff Jones, a graduation cap and gown supplier for the University of Houston, experienced a data breach that has compromised students’ bank information.

According to the student-run newspaper of the University of Houston, several graduating seniors who have ordered their commencement attire in recent months have reported fraudulent credit card and bank activity.

The University of Houston is aware of the situation and confirmed in a statement that the fraudulent transactions do not involve any systems at any of the four universities within the UH System.

The University of Houston released the following statement:

The University of Houston is aware of a data breach that occurred on the website of Herff Jones, a vendor that provides caps, gowns and other commencement products to high school and college graduates. As a result, some customers have reported fraudulent credit card and bank activity. UH System Information Security has investigated and confirmed that the transactions do not involve any systems at any of the four universities within the UH System. UHS will continue to monitor the situation and take additional actions as appropriate. The situation is not unique to UH or UH System universities, it is impacting schools across Texas and the nation.

Herff Jones is investigating and has taken immediate action to temporarily disable its payment functions, however, students are still able to place orders without submitting payment at this time. The University of Houston Campus Store is working directly with our graduates to make sure they have the latest information on the situation and to assist with any orders that may still be outstanding.

Herff Jones addressed the incident on its website Wednesday, stating that the company is aware of the suspicious activity involving certain customers’ payment card information, and has launched an investigation.

Mariah Ochoa, a psychology senior, was one of the first to sound off on the incident, tweeting about her debit card information being stolen.

Ochoa received replies from students who said their accounts had also recently been compromised.

According to The Cougar, graduating seniors in a group chat on GroupMe discovered there had been a data breach after searching “Herff Jones” on Twitter.

“One member of the group searched up ‘Herff Jones’ on Twitter and found many tweets from other students on different campuses talking about how there’s been a nationwide breach and money has been stolen from their accounts,” Ochoa told The Cougar.


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