Police warn of sheriff's office phone scam

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Police are warning the University community of a string of telephone scams.

Police have received reports of scammers using “spoofing” software to make it appear as if a call is originating from the Centre County sheriff’s office.

The suspects, identifying themselves as police officers, inform victims that there is a warrant for their arrest and will sometimes provide fake court docket numbers in an attempt to make the phone call appear more credible.

According to police, the scammers will use the threat of arrest to force victims to provide personal, credit card or banking information.

Any member of the Penn State community who receives such a call should not provide the caller with any information and should contact University Police immediately at 814-863-1111.

University Police, citing an FBI release, said that international students attending area colleges and universities have been heavily targeted. Suspects calling international students may claim that there are problems with a student’s financial aid and/or visa, and may threaten deportation if payment is not made.

Penn State University Police would like to remind the community:

  • Law enforcement officials will never call seeking any personal information, financial information or money.
  • Never give anyone personal information over the phone.
  • Monitor credit card and bank statements regularly and report any unauthorized transactions to your financial institution immediately.
  • If you see or hear suspicious activity, persons or vehicles, contact University Police at 814-863-1111 or 911 immediately.
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Last Updated March 02, 2016