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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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BBB Tip of the Week: Targeting college students

The FBI has warned that scammers are targeting college students with a phone scam. The scammers may spoof caller ID, which is a technique to show a fake phone number and caller identity, so that it looks like they are calling from the FBI or a government agency.

The phony caller claims that the student is delinquent on their student loans or taxes or, in some cases, that they have unpaid parking tickets. The scammer will ask the student to pay off the delinquent amount by wire transfer, such as MoneyGram or Western Union.

The scammer may get aggressive and threatening as a way to keep their potential victim off balance. They may threaten that the student will not be able to graduate unless they make a payment. In other instances, they threaten that the student will be arrested.

This type of phone call can send just about anyone into a tailspin so that they aren’t thinking clearly. Better Business Bureau offers the following advice to help you avoid these types of scams:

· FBI does not call people requesting money. You should be suspicious of anyone requesting that you send them money by wire transfer or by giving prepaid debit card information.

· Never give personal or financial information to unsolicited callers.

· If someone calls you out unexpectedly, don’t trust that they are who they say they are. Some scammers are very good at pretending to be officials from the government, your school, your bank and other organizations.

· If an unsolicited caller threatens you, hang up and call the agency they claim to represent in order to determine if the call was legitimate. However, don’t call a number that you were given by unsolicited callers or in an unsolicited email. Instead use a phone number so you are sure is correct.

If you receive any calls like the ones described, the FBI has asked that you report it to them at their Internet Crime Complaint Center at

For more tips you can trust, visit BBB at or call (509) 455-4200.

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