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Phone Scams

Students, faculty and staff may receive phone calls that appear to come from legitimate police, FBI or IRS phone numbers. The caller may claim that the the individual has warrants for their arrest, unpaid fines and/or that their personal information has been compromised. The caller may then request personal information (birth date, Social Security Number) or payment. If you receive such a call, DO NOT provide personal or financial information.

Be suspicious about all unsolicited communication seeking personal information such as birth dates, SSNs, bank account information and passwords.

Students, faculty and staff who receive such a phone call are urged to file a report with University Police by calling 304-293-COPS (304-293-2267). Please do not email.


If you are contacted by someone who claims there is a warrant for your arrest or is claiming to collect a debt that you do not owe, you should:
  • Ask the caller for name, company, street address and telephone number.
  • Tell the caller that you refuse to discuss any debt until you get a written “validation notice.” The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Contact local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger.
  • If you have already given out information about your bank accounts or credit cards, contact your bank(s) and credit companies. Contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file.
  • If you have received a legitimate loan and want to verify that you do not have any outstanding obligation, contact the loan company directly.
  • File a complaint at