Oklahoma State University - Tulsa
Oklahoma State University - Tulsa
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OSU-Tulsa News > 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Scammers targeting college students by spoofing FBI phone number

Demand money for student loans, tuition

The FBI is warning college students about a phone scam in which someone claiming to be an FBI agent demands repayment for tuition and school loans.

The scammers often know the name of the intended victim as well as their personal cell phone number. They also spoof the local FBI office phone number so that it appears on caller ID to be coming from the FBI.

On occasion, the caller even threatens the victim with arrest and not graduating from school if the fees are not immediately satisfied via MoneyGram or some other method of payment that is not through the university.

The FBI would like the public to know it does not call private citizens requesting money.

Scammers have spoofed the phone numbers of FBI offices in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Montana and Wisconsin.

There are a number of ways people with criminal intentions can obtain names, phone numbers or email addresses. The FBI urges citizens to limit the information they provide online, including on social media sites. Phone scammers typically use fear, intimidation and threats to get a victim to send money.

The FBI offers these tips to protect against fraud:

  • Never give out personal information to someone you did not initiate contact with.
  • Before signing up for a contest or email distribution list, make sure the business has a policy not to share your information or sell it to a third party.
  • Be leery of anyone you did not initiate contact with who asks for payment using a third party such as MoneyGram or GreenDot prepaid cards.
  • Scammers count on your lack of knowledge, so take the time to educate yourself about any offer you receive.

Individuals who receive such calls or need to report any Internet-related crime may file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.

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