Over the last few months, the UW-Madison Police Department has received several reports from students – the majority of which are international students – who report receiving a call from a UWPD or other local law enforcement officer. The caller demands money or gift card payments from the victim and threatens to arrest them if they don’t pay. The phone number that appears on caller ID is spoofed to match the number of the UW-Madison Police Department (or another local police department). The Wisconsin Department of Justice and the City of Madison Police Department say their phone numbers are also being spoofed – DOJ has also taken a number of scam reports from UW students.
Students are reminded that police, government agencies, etc. will NEVER call you and demand money. Please consider the following tips:
- If you receive a telephone call from someone telling you they are a police officer or other government employee, and they are demanding you send them money, do not engage with the caller. Immediately hang up.
- NEVER give bank account, credit card, or personal information to someone who calls you.
- If you feel threatened or unsafe, hang up and call 911.
- If you lost money because of this scam, call the UW-Madison Police Department at (608) 264-2677.
- If you received one of these phone calls, it is not necessary to contact UWPD. You only need to call and file a report if you have lost money from this scam.
International students are encouraged to contact an advisor at International Student Services if you have questions or concerns. Please come in during advising hours.
Written by Officer Brad Davis, University Apartments Community Officer (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @UnivAptsUWPD, (608) 219-4698).