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WVU issues Community Notice for reported phone fraud

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West Virginia University Police issued a Community Notice following recent fraud reports.

On June 5, University Police received multiple calls from parents of WVU students who reported receiving a telephone call from a person identifying themselves as a WVUPD officer who told them their student was in trouble and facing legal issues.

The parents informed WVUPD the original call came up as a Fairmont phone number. In one instance, the caller requested digital payment via Apple Pay and PayPal to resolve the issues. The caller also identified themselves using an actual WVUPD officer’s name and called the parent back from a spoofed phone number associated with WVUPD.

WVUPD is reminding the community that no one from the police department will ever request digital payments to resolve any type of criminal issues or threaten to arrest or obtain warrants for someone if payment is not received.

Scams like this are occurring locally and nationally and some agencies have reported individuals have gone as far as emailing victims fake law enforcement credentials to gain their trust. Scammers will also use scare tactics and threatening language to intimidate victims into paying as soon as possible.

The WVUPD telephone numbers — 304-293-3136 or 304-293-2677 — can be spoofed. Anyone who receives a call from a WVUPD telephone number and suspects it may be fraudulent should hang up and call the number back. These numbers will go directly to the WVUPD Dispatch Center where operators can verify the original call. Any scam calls should be reported.

WVU is committed to providing a safe campus for the protection of the University community. University officials remind the community to remain vigilant and consider other personal safety tips, advice and services located at and

The following safety tips are designed to help avoid potential scam-related crimes.


              ·      Don’t wire money, send cash, or use gift cards or cryptocurrency to pay someone who has sent you a sudden urgent request. Scammers ask you to pay these ways because it’s hard to track that money and almost impossible to get it back. They’ll take your money and disappear.

              ·      Don’t give your financial or other personal information to someone who calls, texts or emails and says they’re with the government, police or other enforcement agency. If you think a call or message could be real, stop. Hang up the phone and call the agency directly at a number you know is correct.

              ·      Don’t trust your caller ID. Your caller ID might show the government agency’s real phone number or even say “Social Security Administration,” for example. But caller ID can be faked. It could be anyone calling from anywhere in the world.


              ·      Refuse to pay any ransoms. If you have already paid, notify your bank and request a refund. In cases where a gift card was purchased, contact the issuing company and ask for a refund.

              ·      Stop all communication. Save all communications and stop all contact. The scammer will continue to try to reach you, but do not reply.

              ·      Freeze your accounts. Contact your banking institution and request a freeze be placed on all of your accounts. You can also contact the three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — and do the same.

              ·      Run a security scan. If you used a computer, run an antivirus scan and remove any access the scammer may have on the device.

              ·      Change passwords. Change and update all online passwords to avoid being locked out by the scammer.

              ·      Contact law enforcement. In addition to contacting UPD at 304-293-3136, file a complaint with the FBI IC3 at

              ·      Contact WVU Defend Your Data. Report all suspicious emails received at your WVU Outlook emails to

West Virginia University Resources

Students and employees are also encouraged to follow the WVU Safety and Wellness Facebook page and @WVUsafety on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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



MEDIA CONTACT: Shauna Johnson
Director of News Communications
University Relations

Call 1-855-WVU-TODAY for the latest West Virginia University news and information from WVUToday.