The University Police Department wants to make the campus community aware of numerous schemes that have impacted some campus and community members. Contact UPD at (904) 620-2800 if you've received any calls as described below:
- IRS arrest scam: The most frequent phone scam in the region is still the IRS scam. Someone claiming to be the from the IRS will call the victim stating they owe back taxes and need to pay them immediately or a warrant will be issued for their arrest. In some cases, victims will receive a follow-up call from their local law enforcement agency backing up the fraudulent claims. Victims are told to purchase gift cards in a certain amount and call the "IRS" representative back with the gift card information.
- Online job ad scam: The victim responds to an online job posting and may go through a brief interview process, while remaining victims will receive an unsolicited check in the mail. There will be instructions with the checks to purchase office equipment and send the overage back via another bank account. The most common job type is advertising signs on the victims' vehicle.
- Electric company scam: Commercial businesses will receive a call from someone claiming to be an electric company representative for that area and tell the victim they're several months behind on their electric bill. The victim is then told that their power will be shut off that afternoon if the bill isn't paid at that time using bank account information or pre-paid credit cards.
- Computer virus scam: The victim will receive a call from someone claiming to be with a computer repair company and try to gain access to the victim’s computer remotely. In some instances, the victim is actively using the computer when a message pops up for them to download anti-virus software. The victim will then be prompted to give bank account information to pay for repair services.
- Online rental ad: The victim will respond to an online ad for a rental property. Communication will be only electronic in nature via text or e-mail. After the victim sends the deposit money, communication will stop and the "renter" will become unreachable.
- Family member in danger scam: The victim will receive a call from a family member or distant relative say they've been arrested or taken hostage. The victim is instructed to wire money and/or gift cards to an attorney or another subject.
- Lotto scam: The victim will receive a letter or phone call stating they won the lottery or the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes. The victim will be instructed that they need to pay taxes on the winning amount before they can receive the funds.
- Romance scam: The victim will start a romantic relationship with a subject, usually in another country. Soon after, the victim will request money to travel or move to the U.S. to be with the victim.
- Terror threat scam: The victim is told that the caller is with Al-Quaeda and was hired to kill them, but will spare victim's life for $8,000.