Members of the IU Police Department and a university official said students and staff need to be aware of the threat of scams here on campus year-round, but this is especially important to approaching tax season.
IUPD posted a Tweeter November 9 on the threat of scams for IU students.
IUPD deputy chief Bunger said the scams occur year round on campus. He said the IUPD regularly posts videos to warn people and remind them of the crooks’ techniques.
Members of the IU community can call the IUPD non-emergency line at 812-855-4111 or email [email protected] to report the scams, Bunger said.
International students may be targeted more often because they are in a new country and a new atmosphere, Bunger said. He said the IUPD works closely with the Office of International Students to promote asking questions when it comes to suspicious messages.
âIf it sounds too good to be true, it is,â Bunger said.
IUPD Detective Nate Koontz said a large part of campus scams happen on social media.
There have been around 30 to 50 reports of scams this semester here at IU Bloomington, Koontz said.
Koontz said many scams happen through Instagram direct messages. He said that once the conversation starts, the scammer will start asking for photos and personal information.
âIf you don’t know this person, definitely don’t strike up a conversation with them,â Koontz said. “They will keep any information and photos they receive hostage.”
Von Welch, associate vice president of information security at UI, said the university’s IT departments worked with the IUPD to obtain evidence of the fraudulent email and then went to work. prevent the user from accessing other members of the community.
Scams can come from all communication channels, including spam, Welch said.
UITS tries to protect the IU community by filtering these spam emails before they reach anyone’s inbox, Welch said. He said UITS would also protect people from such hostile emails by reporting scams when they enter their emails.
The hope is that security is working well enough here at IU that no one will actually see it, Welch said.
Welch said people should always be more careful when viewing emails from outside of college.
âWhat creates a greater sense of urgency is seeing someone pretending to be your boss or a campus manager,â Welch said.
It’s important to verify the crooks’ email addresses when they don’t have a UI account, Welch said. He said that protect.iu.edu and the UITS website both have information on how to protect yourself from these imposters.
âMake sure you talk to who you think you’re talking to,â Welch said. “Take the moment to research the email address and make sure it’s a legitimate request.”