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University Police received reports recently of a phishing scam targeting S&T community members. The scam involves an email supposedly from someone the recipient knows and a spoofed Missouri S&T email address that is really a Gmail address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the email, the scammer requests a loan and directs the reader to purchase gift cards from a local store. The scammer further instructs the individual to scratch off the redemption number on the back of the cards, photograph the number, and then email the scammer with the photograph. The scammer will then drain the money from the gift cards.
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 request, never send funds (including the purchase of gift cards) to someone who emails or calls you. Scammers often insist on gift cards because they can quickly remove the funds from the cards.
- Scammers will attempt to portray themselves as your social media friends, family members, coworkers, or officials for a government agency or organization.
- If you receive an email or phone call requesting funds and you are unsure of the legitimacy of the request, please contact University Police or another law enforcement agency for assistance.
- Adjust the privacy settings on your social media platforms so that only confirmed friends can visit your profile. Never accept friend requests from anyone you do not know – even if you have a friend who has accepted the request.
- The University Police department is available to you 24/7 via the Rave Guardian App or at 341-4300. The department is located in Room G-10 Campus Support Facility. In an emergency, dial 911.