Scam watch: College students targeted with "spoofing" scam
Caller I.D. falsely appeared to be from the FBI
By: Olivia Ugino
Posted: Feb 05, 2017 11:48 PM EST
Updated: Feb 06, 2017 07:23 PM EST
Oswego, NY (WSYR-TV) - College students beware! Callers who have detailed personal information may be scammers trying to convince you to trust them. A SUNY Oswego student says she almost fell for it.
Emily George, a senior at the college, was heading home from class when her phone rang one day.
"He told me there was a federal warrant and an investigation under my name and they were looking to arrest me," said explained.
Skeptical, Emily insisted the caller, claiming to be from the FBI, had the wrong number, until the caller began rattling off her personal information.
"He asked about my home address, my off campus address, and then he knew my student loan amounts and he knew my scholarship amounts, like down to the penny," said George.
That's when she began to fall for the scam.
"I started sobbing, I was so scared," said George.
A stroke of luck saved Emily when the phone suddenly disconnected. But, she shared the story with friends and learned they got the same call.
"I'm very lucky that I didn't give any money away. But I was 100% ready to because I wasn't even thinking in the moment, I was 100% ready to just give him my credit card information," she admits.
Turns out, the number that showed up on Emily's phone is actually the FBI and they confirmed it's a common case of "spoofing." Scammers disguise their real number by using the caller ID of an agency you might trust.
The FBI posted a warning reminding students that they don't call anyone requesting money.
A rep. from SUNY Oswego says they are working with University Police, advising students to "be cautious when receiving calls from unknown sources, do not provide any personal or financial information; hang up immediately and contact a college official."
They'll try to help students figure out what to do next.