The University Police remind the campus community that criminals often use the holiday season as a time to commit fraud. A recent scam in the local area involves someone who calls and claims to represent Apple.
Doug Roberts, chief of University Police, offers the following tips:
- Beware of unsolicited calls from individuals claiming to represent well-known companies and telling you that your account is compromised or you are a fraud victim.
- Scammers will often “spoof” a local exchange for their phone number to improve chances that a potential victim will answer the phone.
- A caller may attempt to prove their legitimacy by directing you to a website that looks official. The address is likely close but not the same as the genuine website for the company. A scammer will not direct you to the genuine company website or phone number.
- Do not give any account information to an unsolicited caller. Never give your passwords or access information to your phone or computer. Do not provide any personal identifier information, such as your birthday or social security number.
- If in doubt, hang up and do your research. Call the listed number for the company that the caller claimed to represent to determine if the caller was legitimate. Don’t use a phone number or email address the caller gives you
- If you suspect fraud, report it. Business websites often provide a link to report fraud.
- Beware of unsolicited emails or calls from individuals who claim to represent a governmental agency threatening a fine or incarceration if you don’t immediately pay a debt.
- Do not purchase gift cards or iTunes cards to repay debt. Legitimate agencies do not accept gift cards as payment.
- Scammers may target the international students and scholars and use threats of deportation.
- Beware of individuals claiming to represent a charity asking for phone donations, social media donations, or donations via email. If you are interested in giving to a charity, research the charity you choose and contact the charity to initiate the gift.
- Fraudsters will use the holidays to take advantage of individuals, requesting donations for charities that are either completely fraudulent or with high administrative fee (sometimes 99%) and a small percentage of the gifts actually reach the charity that the caller claimed to represent. The Better Business Bureau is a good resource to check on charities.
Please feel free to contact University Police or your local law enforcement agency if you suspect a scam. The University Police department is available to you 24/7 at 573-341-4300. In an emergency, dial 911.