Situational awareness: Scam alert
From: Virginia Tech Police Department
The Virginia Tech Police Department is aware of a continuing trend of scams that have been targeting the Virginia Tech community. Two of the most common scams circulating are assistant or part time job offers and fraudulent activity that stems from communication via social media.
In the first scam, students are commonly asked to send a resume or other personal information. Students report receiving electronic checks that they are asked to cash, while sending a percentage of that money back. The return payment is usually requested via a banking app, cryptocurrency, or gift card(s). The original check does not clear, and the student loses the money from their account. All correspondence pertaining to this scam is electronic and the scammer will not meet in person, and adamantly avoids it.
The second scam involves connecting with an individual online for an intimate conversation. Private photographs or videos are shared and/or recorded, sometimes without consent or awareness of the person who is being recorded. The individual then blackmails the person by threatening to release the intimate material online unless they receive payment.
We encourage all community members to be weary of electronic communication with individuals that you do not know, especially when there is a discussion of money or personal information - to include situations where you are attempting to buy or sell an item.
The Virginia Tech Police Department would like to remind all community members that: Common scams perpetrated against the Virginia Tech community and other general safety tips can be found at police.vt.edu/scam-alerts and police.vt.edu/safety-security/safety-tips/socialmediascams.
- You should never give out personal identifying information over the telephone, by text, or email, to anyone demanding money or financial compensation.
- You should be apprehensive of situations where someone overpays you by check and then asks you to wire money, utilize a prepaid card or visit a bitcoin ATM for payment.
- You should be suspicious if you receive an unsolicited letter or email requesting you to deposit a check and wire money back to an individual that you did not request and have not met personally.
- You should never provide personal information such as dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and bank account/credit card numbers.
- No law enforcement or other government agency in the U.S., including the IRS, will ever call you on the phone and threaten you with arrest if you do not immediately send them money, provide them with the number of a gift card, or transfer money into a bitcoin account
- Scammers commonly use scare tactics and promote urgency when attempting to defraud others.
Community members should report all crimes and suspicious activity/persons anywhere on campus immediately to the Virginia Tech Police Department at 540-382-4343 or by dialing 911.
Anonymous tips can be reported online at police.vt.edu/anonymous.