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University Police have received reports of a scam targeting international students, staff and faculty. The scam involves someone supposedly from a foreign governmental agency contacting the recipient via phone and informing the intended victim that he or she violated the law in their county.
In the scam attempt, the intended victim is transferred to various departments including a police department. For example, in one reported incident, the law violation supposedly occurred in China and the recipient was forwarded to someone purporting to be with the Shanghai Police. Although the call ended before the victim was directed or instructed to send anything, police suspect the intended victim would have been later directed to send funds.
Doug Roberts, chief of Missouri S&T’s University Police, offers the following tips to avoid falling for a scam:
- Unless you can independently confirm the legitimacy of the call, never send funds (including the purchase of gift cards) to satisfy a debt or to resolve a crime.
- Callers can “spoof” numbers to appear as if they are coming from a legitimate governmental agency.
- The fraudsters often request an immediate action and request the recipient to not discuss the call with anyone.
- Hang up. Do not engage in conversations with a suspected fraudster.
- If you receive a solicitation or call informing you have violated the law or a procedure and as a result you need to immediately send funds to resolve the issue, you should contact the University Police or speak with a campus official. University Police can be reached 24/7 at 341-4300 or, in an emergency, 911.