University Police has received complaints of attempted fraud related to unsolicited telephone calls. The department reminds the campus community to keep the following tips in mind when receiving such a call:
- No reputable company or organization will call you to tell you owe taxes or have an unpaid debt, such as electricity or telephone. No legitimate company will require you to send funds electronically or place funds on a pre-paid card to satisfy a debt. If in doubt, hang up the phone and do independent research or seek the advice of the police.
- You never have to pay money to obtain winnings or inheritances. If you did not enter a sweepstakes you did not win funds. Be aware that it’s against federal law to play a foreign lottery, so if you get a call regarding a foreign lottery it is likely a scam.
- Check any unfamiliar area codes before returning calls. Be aware that there are several 3-digit codes that connect callers to international telephone numbers, especially 876. Often when you call those numbers back, your phone will be billed.
- Know that with the popularity of social media, your telephone number is often available to outside groups and entities. Be skeptical of any call from anyone seeking money or personal identifier information.
- Beware of anyone wanting you to immediately act on a request for money and/or requesting you not share with anyone else the facts of the solicitation.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it is.