Campus News

Phone scam posing as campus police targets UW students

A sexual assault — which reportedly occurred last Thursday — was reported to UW-Madison Monday.

A well-known phone scam has re-emerged and is targeting UW-Madison students, particularly international students, according to a release issued Tuesday by the UW-Madison Police Department.

UWPD received multiple reports from students over the past few days of a caller posing as a campus police officer. The caller demands money or gift card payments from the students, threatening them with arrest if they fail to pay. According to the release, the phone number from which the call is made has been “spoofed” so that the call appears to originate from UWPD.

The phone numbers for the City of Madison Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice have also been “spoofed,” and the DOJ has received reports of the scam as well.

According to UWPD Director of Communications Marc Lovicott, some victims in the UW-Madison community have reported losing “thousands of dollars” to this current phone scam. One victim reported losing $10,000 to the scam.

The UWPD release reminded students that government agencies, including the police department, will never call demanding money.

It also advised students to never engage with a caller of this nature, to never give out personal information including bank account and credit card numbers to any callers and to contact 911 if feeling unsafe after one of these calls.

Students who have received one of these calls should contact UWPD if they have lost money to this scam.

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