PHONE SCAM ALERT
Eastern Illinois University Police Department is warning the campus community to be on alert for a phone scam that primarily targets college students while displaying the FBI’s telephone number on the recipient’s caller ID. The University Police Department has received multiple reports from college students complaining that someone claiming to represent the U.S. Government or even claiming to be FBI agents have been contacting them through their cell phones. In some of the cases, the caller advised that the student is delinquent on student loans or dues, delinquent taxes, unpaid traffic or parking tickets. Also the caller will threaten the student will be arrested if they don’t comply. These fees requested by the caller are to be made through MoneyGram or a wire transfer. The FBI has advised that other universities around the state and country have reported similar incidents.
The caller claims to have specific student information. In addition, the originating telephone number used by the scammer is displayed or “spoofed” as that of the telephone number of the Chicago FBI Field Office. The FBI does not call private citizens requesting money. Be vigilant and never give out unsolicited requests for money or personal information to callers you don’t know.
Individuals receiving such calls can file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.
Public Service Announcement
CYBER-RELATED SCAMS TARGETING UNIVERSITIES, EMPLOYEES, AND STUDENTS
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is aware of multiple scams targeting universities, university employees, and students across the nation. The scams range from Internet fraud to intrusions. The following are common scenarios:
● Spear phishing e-mails are being sent to university employees that appear to be from their employer. The e-mail contains a link and claims some type of issue has risen requiring them to enter their log-in credentials. Once employees provide their user name and password, the perpetrator accesses the university’s computer system to redirect the employees’ payroll allocation to another bank account. The university employees’ payroll allocations are being deposited into students’ accounts. These students were hired through online advertisements for work-at-home jobs, and provided their bank account information to the perpetrators to receive payment for the work they performed.
● Scammers are posting online advertisements soliciting college students for administrative positions in which they would receive checks via the mail or e-mail. Students are directed to deposit the checks into their accounts, and then print checks and/or wire money to an individual. Students are never asked to provide their bank account information to the perpetrators.
● Perpetrators are compromising students’ credential resulting in the rerouting of their reimbursement money to other bank accounts. The reimbursement money is from student loans and used to pay tuition, books, and living expenses.
● Perpetrators are obtaining professors’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and using it to file fraudulent income tax returns.
● Some universities have been victims of intrusions, resulting in the perpetrators being able to access university databases containing information on their employees and students.
If you have been a victim of one of these scams or any other Internet related scam, we encourage you to file a complaint with the IC3 at www.ic3.gov and notify your university police.
EIU MAYHEM PREVENTION TEAM brings you crime prevention tips video series.....Check them out!
- Be aware! Recognize your vulnerability.
- Report all suspicious persons, vehicles and activities to the University Police Department immediately, by using any campus emergency phone or by dialing 911 from any campus phone.
- Use the "buddy system" and watch out for your neighbor.
- Keep your door locked when you nap or go to bed for the night.
- Report lights that are out and any hazardous conditions immediately.
- If you see someone being victimized, get involved and notify the Police Department.
- Remember the location of the emergency phones.
- Avoid traveling alone at night.
- Confine walking to well-lit, regular traveled walks and pathways. Avoid shortcuts and keep away from shrubbery, bushes, alleyways, or any other areas where an assailant might be lurking.
- Avoid the athletic fields after dark.
- Do not accept rides from casual acquaintances.
- When walking to your vehicle or residence, have your keys ready in hand. Interlace your keys in your fist.
- When being dropped of by taxi or private vehicle, ask the driver to wait until you get inside.
- If threatened by an approaching vehicle, run in the opposite direction. The vehicle will have to turn around in order to pursue you.
- When getting out of a car, take a look around to make sure that you are not being followed.
- If you think you are being followed, cross the street and, if necessary, keep crossing back and forth. If you are pursued run to a campus building, business, residence, enlist the aid of a passerby, flag down a passing motorist, or as a last resort pull a fire alarm. Do anything that might attract attention or summon assistance. If you are walking alone and someone passes you, check to make sure that person has continued to walk in the other direction.
- Carry a loud whistle, this will draw attention to your position if assailed.
- Get to know your surroundings before you go out and learn a well-lit route back to your hotel or rental property.
- Always carry emergency cash and keep phone numbers for local cab companies handy.
- Form a buddy system with close friends and agree on a secret "butt in" signal for uncomfortable situations.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut.
- Avoid being alone or isolated with someone you don't know and trust.
- Don't accept drinks from people you don't know and trust.
- Never leave your drink unattended, and if you do lose sight of it, get a new one.
- Always watch your drink being prepared.
- Try to buy drinks in bottles, which are harder to tamper with than cups or glasses.
- Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
- They steal wallets and purses containing your identification and credit/bank cards.
- They steal your mail, including your bank statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks, and tax information.
- They complete a "change of address kit" to divert your mail to another location.
- They rummage through your trash, or the trash of businesses, for personal data in a practice known as "dumpster diving".
- They find personal information in your home.
- They use personal information you share on the internet.
- They scam you, often through email, by posing as legitimate companies or government agencies you do business with.
Most of us take those summons for jury duty seriously ..a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced. The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your cSocial Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo, your identity was just stolen. The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma , Illinois , and Colorado .. This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. The FBI and the Federal Court System have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.
We urge the campus community to go about their business and leisure activities as usual. Due to the current heightened security alert, we would also urge you to report happenings or activities that you realistically suspect may be linked to terrorist related crime. Call the University Police at 581-3212 or report in person at 7th & Grant on the EIU campus east of the MLK Jr. University Union.