Beware of new twist on fraud trend

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On July 12, 2023

A photo of lights on a police car.

Photo by Michael Förtsch on Unsplash.

The University Police would like to let the campus community know about a recent twist on an old fraud trend. This warning comes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In this new twist, parents and family members of students are being contacted by someone claiming to represent an official with campus law enforcement. The caller informs the parent or family member that their student has been arrested or is in trouble and the caller requests funds from the parent or family member in exchange for bail or to handle the incident internally and “get them out of trouble.” Criminals may even go to the extent of “spoofing” a non-emergency phone number for the campus police department. To date, this has not happened on the S&T campus, but it has occurred in several other states.

Suspicious indicators would include:

  • A call from someone claiming to be with local law enforcement, campus police or campus security requesting a bond payment to release their student from a charge, to permit them to participate in a “diversion program” or to have charges “handled internally.” 
  • A call from local law enforcement, campus police or campus security demanding that you remain on the call until “bond is paid.”
  • The request for monetary payment to post bond amounts or avoid jail time are directed to payment systems such as Venmo, Zelle, CashApp, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Corpay or the purchase of gift cards. 

Anyone with questions can contact the University Police at 573-341-4300.   Suspicious activity can be reported to the FBI by calling 800-225-5324 and fraud reports can be made to

For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission website or view the FBI’s public service announcement.

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On July 12, 2023. Posted in Announcements