Phishing & Phone Scam Advisory
December 18, 2015
Lt. Eric Dellinger (706) 542-5813
Chief Jimmy Williamson (706) 542-5813
The University of Georgia Police Department would like to remind everyone of the prevalence of scam attempts directed towards members of our community, as well as other institutions around the state and throughout the nation. These scams are perpetrated through both e-mail and phone communications. Please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the information presented here, as your awareness is the most effective way to prevent you from becoming a victim of these types of scams.
The scammer will often represent themselves as a government or law enforcement official. Your caller ID may show the legitimate number to the agency being fraudulently identified through the use of spoofing. E-mails are also often spoofed, making the recipient believe that they are receiving a credible communication. Some examples based on real life incidents include UGA Police, ACC Police, Atlanta Police, the FBI, the IRS, Immigration and Naturalization Services, and various other local and state law enforcement agencies. The scammer will attempt to convince you that he/she has your personal information, when in reality he/she possesses only what is available through public, on-line sources.
The scammer may take several approaches. Very often the scammer informs the intended victim that they either owe money for some reason (overdue loan, delinquent taxes, jury duty, even unpaid parking tickets have been reported) or that they have some sort of active arrest warrant. The scammer, who is usually described as having a foreign accent, will attempt to scare and intimidate the intended victim into paying a fee with some sort of pre-loaded card in order to rectify the situation. Some scammers attempt to convince the intended victim that they need to transfer funds for some legitimate business purpose or provide a purchasing card number to complete some sort of UGA related purchase. In any event, always keep the following factors in mind:
- Legitimate law enforcement officials will NEVER contact you and ask you to pay money to satisfy an arrest warrant, fine or citation over the phone.
- You should NEVER provide any personal or financial information or account numbers/log-in information over the phone unless you are absolutely certain of who you are communicating with and what the circumstances are and YOU initiated the call.
- If you are uncertain of the legitimacy of a phone call, it always recommended that you hang up the phone and call the agency back to verify the circumstances.
- In reference to e-mail based scams related to UGA e-mail accounts, UGA EITS will NEVER send an e-mail requesting individuals to provide personal or account information or to click a link to “re-validate” an e-mail account on-line.
- Anyone who contacts a UGA official and identifies themselves as a law enforcement official seeking information related to an on-going investigation should be referred to the University of Georgia Police Department for assistance.
- Do not be afraid to question a caller if you aren’t certain about the validity of a call or e-mail…If something doesn’t seem right, then it probably isn’t!!
If you feel you have been victimized in some way related to a scam call or e-mail, you may report it to the University Police Department (706-542-2200 or 911 from any campus phone) or to your local police department if you are off-campus at the time the call is received.