XUPD warns against phone scam

By: Max Bruns ~Staff Writer~

photo courtesy of static-assets.com | Scams involving callers pretending to be members of the IRS have resurfaced.

As annoying as collect calls may seem, telling a telemarketer not to call during dinner is nothing compared to the dangers of phone scammers.

Recently, the XUPD had warned the Xavier community members about suspicious phone calls that are requesting money from unsuspecting students.

According to a Public Safety Notice issued on Xavier’s website on Sept. 28, the Xavier Police have received reports of several phone scams occurring to members of the community, including one dubbed “the IRS Tax Warrant Scam.” According to the IRS website, victims are being told they owe the IRS and are requested to wire the funds.

The caller, claiming to work for the IRS, will use a generic name, give a fake badge number and sometimes know some personal information about the victim, such as the last four digits of the social security number. They will even scam using IRS caller-ID and send bogus emails. If victims refuse, callers will become hostile.

“This scam in particular, the IRS scam, has been around for a while, but we have seen it popping it up a lot more lately,” Lieutenant William Smith of XUPD said.

An even more alarming existing hoax involves scammers calling and claiming that they have taken a family member hostage or that a family member has been involved in a minor accident but does not have insurance. This is possible when scammers obtain personal information. They will demand an immediate wire transfer of funds, which is a way to identify the scam.

“Usually, the scammer preys upon a weaker class, such as the elderly and students, who are more susceptible to fall for this kind of thing. Never trust anyone if they’re calling you asking for money and threatening you. You do not have to cooperate with them,” Smith said.

XUPD advised in its Public Safety Notice, “ask members of the community to be suspicious of strangers who call and ask for money, regardless of the situation. You should also not provide strangers with personal information or wire transfer money to unknown individuals.”

If you or anyone you know within the Xavier Community has been a victim of this scam, you are advised to contact XUPD at 513-745-1000.