April 26, 2023

Purdue police warn of scam targeting parents and family members of students

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind – Purdue University police are warning about a phone scam targeting the parents and family members of current students.

Police on Wednesday (April 26) received multiple calls from families reporting they had received telephone calls from someone purporting to be with the Purdue University Police Department and requesting money for bail. The scammer reportedly requested banking information and stated their child or sibling had been arrested and needed bail money, adding that the parent or family member could not speak with the student until money was transferred.

This type of scam is referred to as vishing, which is the practice of making fraudulent phone calls or leaving messages that appear to be from legitimate sources. Criminals will use fear or intimidation tactics to have you reveal personal information, typically for monetary gain.

PUPD stresses it will never request payment of any kind over the phone.

Purdue Information Technology provides the following tips if you receive suspicious calls or voicemails:

· Ask for the caller’s name or employee number and call the organization back using the telephone number listed on billing statements or other official sources, not the number provided by the caller or caller ID. Vishing attacks often use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows caller identification to be easily spoofed.

· Think once, twice and maybe three times about providing personal or financial information over the phone, especially if you did not initiate the call.

· If someone claims you owe a debt, both state and federal laws give you certain rights, including the right to receive written verification.

· Keep in mind that you probably aren’t going to win a prize if you did not enter a contest. If a call sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

· Remember, law enforcement agencies don’t collect fines over the phone, nor would law enforcement contact citizens by telephone and ask for personal information relating to taxes or debt. Likewise, the Internal Revenue Service, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Social Security Administration will not call you to update your information or give you a new card.

· You can file a complaint about vishing with the Federal Trade Commission and also place your personal phone number on the federal “Do Not Call” list. You can list your number on Indiana’s no-call list as well.

Students, faculty and staff can contact Purdue police at 765-494-8221 to make a report if they suspect that their accounts have been compromised.

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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