Police Warn College Students of Scammers

This month, Ferris State University police have handled several complaints of phone calls demanding money from students before school starts.

This year they say they are from registrar office but in year’s past similar attacks pose as the IRS or the school’s financial aid office.

“The caller claims they are a University official and tells the student the student owes the university money,” says Ferris State Police Director Bruce Borkovich, “And if the student doesn’t pay up that they are going to be dropped from school.”

Every year, the details may change but the strategy is the same. Scammers targeting new college students, telling them there is a problem and they need money right away to fix it.

“So many of the students don’t have a deep life experience to really be able to filter out what might be legitimate and what might not be,” says Borkovich.

The biggest problem with the scams is that they are getting more and more complex. They actually have technology to use phone numbers that are registered to police departments or universities. You can Google it and find that it seems legitimate. The one thing you need to know do not give information over the phone, period.

“Ignore that,” says Borkovich, “The key is if they are making threats and asking for money, those of the two things that don’t go together and don’t make it legitimate.”

Whether it be the IRS, your credit card company or your school, nobody legitimately demands money over the phone right away.

“We usually go a couple or three weeks out when we do it and we email them often,” says Ferris State Director of Student Financial Services Kristy Myers.

The financial office gets calls frequently from students worried about these calls. She reassured them, if they are truly in financial trouble, it would come with more than a phone call.

“They get plenty of notice,” says Myers, “It’s not something that we would call them and say, ‘hey today your financial aid is due and its going to be gone tomorrow.’”