University Police investigating reports of phone scam

Alan Perez, Assistant Campus Editor

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University Police are investigating reports of phone scams that have cost victims thousands of dollars.

Chief of Police Bruce Lewis informed the Northwestern community of the scam in a Tuesday email. At least three NU community members have lost money to the scam, according to the email.

The scammers pose as IRS agents or police officers who ask to send payment via gift cards for “outstanding debt,” according to the email. Caller identification often presents the scammer as belonging to Northwestern or another police department.

Lewis told The Daily that the caller is often a live person. The scammers also ask for personal identifying information, including Social Security numbers, according to the email.

NUPD investigates reports of scams if the “offense occurs on campus,” Lewis said, and would work with financial institutions to catch the scammers and return the victim’s money.

Lewis, however, said it is often “very difficult” to recover losses in these cases.

NUPD is still investigating how the scammers received community members’ contact information, Lewis said.


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