Oklahoma State University is warning students of spoof calls claiming to be the campus police.
Public Information Officer Shannon Rigsby put out the latest warning Tuesday, but the spoof calls date back to December 2019 and October and December of 2020.
According to the latest release, the scammer claimed to be Oklahoma State University Police Chief Leon Jones.
“The scammer told the victim his identity had been used to purchase illegal narcotics and there was a warrant out for his arrest. The scammer told the victim he needed to pay $3,000 to take care of the warrant, and the money would also be used to catch the people who stole his identity,” Rigsby wrote.
The latest victim did transfer a large amount of money to the scammer, as well as provided the scammer with an email address to “track down the suspects.”
Rigsby wrote in the release that OSUPD will never request money over the phone nor will they demand money, ask for personal information and they won’t ask for account passwords.
Rigsby and OSUPD Capt. William Chandler said these scam calls aren’t limited to OSUPD and said reports have been made in other cities in Oklahoma.
“I know Oklahoma City Police have been spoofed a few times, also Tulsa Sheriff’s Office, Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, etc.,” Rigsby said. “The last one I saw reported for OKC was in May 2020, so not that long ago in months.”
Chandler said those who are pretending to be police and scamming people are in fact committing a crime.
“We classify these types of crimes as Fraud-False Pretenses/ Swindle/ Confidence Game. In review of 2020 activity, I show we have five cases related to this specific type of scam,” he said. “Keep in mind, that number may be low given some cases may be classified under a different type of fraud scam. There are four different fraud classifications we can use.”
Chandler said an inquiry of fraud cases resulted in over 600 cases, but he is confident that a majority of those cases are related to the unemployment scam that was happening during 2020.
Rigsby said if someone receives a call that appears to be from OSUPD and they believe the call is fraudulent, hang up and call OSUPD at 405-744-6523.
“If the call is fraudulent, file a report. Also file a complaint with the FCC Consumer Complaint Center by selecting the ‘phone’ option and selecting ‘unwanted calls.’ The data helps the FCC track trends and supports enforcement investigations,” she said.
Stillwater Police Capt. Kyle Gibbs said the most recent spoof call he has heard was an automated call claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, but hasn’t heard of anyone spoofing SPD’s phone number.