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Tina R Reagan
Sep 9, 2016

Be Aware of Phone Scam

Sep 9, 2016 by Tina R Reagan

Please be aware that several students have reported that they were contacted by someone representing themselves as being employed or affiliated with the Missouri Department of Revenue.  The caller has “spoofed” the phone number for the Missouri Department of Revenue (and on occasion various police departments in Jefferson City).  The students are being instructed to purchase iTunes Gift Cards from area merchants and then reveal the codes on the back of the cards to the fraudster.  Often the amount of money associated with this scam exceeds $1,000.   The students involved in this scam are being threatened with arrest and deportation if they do not send the funds and often the caller remains on the phone with the student throughout the purchase of the cards, offering instructions and demands.  Unfortunately, law enforcement is often not notified by the victim until hours or days have passed since they gave the caller the card numbers.  This is often too late to recover the lost funds. 

No student should ever send any funds to anyone without verification.  No official governmental agency would ever request anyone to send funds via iTunes.  Remember that scammers operate with two factors in mind – Instantaneous and anonymous.    They want you to act immediately and they do not want you to speak to anyone about the call.  The fraudsters know that if you think about the request the scammer is making or if you ask anyone about the call they will tell you it’s a scam.    If in doubt, please contact the University Police Department.