Be wary of email, phone call scams, warns police department

JAMIE CHEN / AGGIE

Police tell students to be cautious of suspicious messages

A wave of phone and email scams have plagued the Davis community in the past months, and the UC Davis Police Department has warned students to be wary.

According to the UCDPD website, these scams don’t specifically target students and have been reported nationwide.

The fraudulent messages vary in content, ranging from fake job offers and warnings that the receiver is going to be arrested to notifications that the receiver had won a prize or could get an apartment.

In addition, many of these messages seemed to be targeted specifically towards international students, claiming the receiver’s visa is about to expire or that someone needs help transferring money to the receiver.

“One common variation is a recorded phone message in Mandarin Chinese but there are many others in circulation,” the UCDPD website said.

In all cases, the scammer at some point demands the receiver send them money in various forms including gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, Walmart, Target or other retailers.

Police stated they have received four reports of phone scams since the beginning of summer as well as a recent report of attempted fraud on the community site Uloop.

UC Davis Police Chief Joseph Farrow addressed the scams at the ASUCD Senate meeting on October 18.

“We’ve had five international students who have fallen victims to these,” Farrow said. “We’re working closely with international students so they know about these scams.”

International students who were aware of these scams expressed their concern.

“I think [we’re targeted] because they [the scammers] know international students usually are rich,” said Jiayi Liu a third-year communication major and international student from China. “I wish it will never happen to any of my friends or other international students.”

Students are advised to refrain from sending money in any form in response to such requests.

In addition, the police urge those who think they have been a victim of fraud or have information about such a crime to call the police department by phone, 530-754-2677.

 

Written by Clara Zhao — campus@theaggie.org