Public Safety Phone Scam
Public Safety Phone, E-mail & Mail Scam Alert
Dear MCPHS Students,
MCPHS Public Safety is warning local college students to be aware of a scheme where scammers, pretending to be representatives of either the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) or IRS (Internal Revenue Service), are calling area college students to demand payment on several items including delinquent taxes, overdue parking tickets or student loans.
You should know that neither agency (either the FBI or IRS) will call people to demand payment over the phone, nor do they send digital pictures of credentials or badges. Should you receive such a call, recognize it is a scam, discontinue the call and contact MCPHS Public Safety to file a report.
One of our international students received a phone call from someone stating he was from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He said that she did not register her “Alien Registration Number,” that a warrant had been issued for her arrest, and that she would be deported. The person continued to say that she would need to pay a security deposit of $400 for a DS-230 Form. He continued to explain that there was a “black mark” on her file and in order to remove it, she would need to pay an additional $1,400. Luckily, the student refused and hung up the phone.
If you receive any calls like this, asking for money or any calls threatening deportation or other actions, please hang up. Do not tell them anything or give them any money. If this has happened to you, please let us know. You also may need to file a police report. Both international and domestic students can be targets.
Unfortunately, this is an example of a phone scam that is phishing for your personal information. The IRS defines phishing as “a scam typically carried out through unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information.” These scams can come in via email, snail mail or phone. The person could have your name, address, or other information about you. They will ask you questions and will try and phish for additional information. Again, do not speak to them.
Other phone, mail and e-mail scams or phishing incidents that have occurred this year at other institutions have targeted students by posing as agents from the IRS, or other government agencies, asking the student to purchase gift cards by providing them credit card numbers (such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express). This is also a scam – U.S. Agencies would never request such information.
If you have any questions about this matter, or if you have already been contacted or scammed, please contact MCPHS Public Safety immediately at 617-732-2900 (Boston), 508-373-5800 (Worcester), 603-314-1771 (Manchester).
Below are other resources:
Warning from the IRS regarding phishing scams
Fraud alerts U.S. Department of Treasury
The U.S. CERT Computer Emergency Readiness Team regarding Cyber Scams
MCPHS Public Safety & Office of Student Affairs
Chief of Public Safety