WVU issues notice about fraud, harassment scams

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 1:19 PM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - West Virginia University is urging members of the campus community to use caution when interacting with others online and when receiving unsolicited phone calls or text messages.

Last month, WVU Police received six reports involving alleged fraud and harassment schemes targeting students.

Officials said the cases include multiple “sextortion” complaints, with students reporting someone was threatening to distribute private and sensitive material if monetary demands were not met.

A separate case was a “government impersonator scam,” in which the scammer called the victim, falsely claimed to be a law enforcement officer and indicated the victim was going to be arrested for missing jury duty unless a payment was made, officials said.

Such “sextortion” and “government impersonator scams” are not uncommon.

WVU says that if you are receiving sextortion threats, report the incident to WVU Police at 304-291-COPS and keep the following things in mind:

  • Remember you are not alone as thousands are victimized by this scam.
  • Stop all interaction with the extortionist and do not be embarrassed or afraid to contact law enforcement.
  • File a complaint with the FBI IC3 at www.ic3.gov.

Officials remind everyone that government agencies will not call, email or text you and ask for money or personal information.

Anyone who has been involved in a government impersonator scam is asked to follow the steps below:

A Community Notice is part of WVU’s three-tiered emergency notification system used to enhance student and employee safety and provide useful information to the community.