By Courtney Cole/ Managing Editor
Recently at Missouri Valley College an increasing number of students have been receiving phone call scams as well as text messages trying to get money. These calls and messages are coming from many different area codes such as Sedalia, Mo. or even Kansas City.
Omar AlRefae, the chief information officer at MVC, said that the scam calls and messages are increasing this school year. He first noticed when a student had come into his office in August stating he had received calls from someone posing as the FBI. They told the man that they had been monitoring his internet usage and that he could go to jail. By this, they scammed the man out of $1,600 dollars by having the man pay them in iTunes and Google gift cards.
He believes that they are targeting the younger college students such as freshmen and sophomores because they are new to being away from home and on their own. These scammers are counting on those individuals to be naïve and not know any better when they hear the word jail.
AlRefae is hoping to open up some type of series for students to ask questions about what happens when someone tries to scam them.
“Just try as much as possible to stay safe online,” said AlRefae. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you really need help, come see us.”
Maddison Vogelsmeier, a student at Missouri Valley College said she is constantly getting random calls from all over and that she believes that they are all scams. She conceded that she couldn’t be sure, however, as she has never answered a call because of the assumption of them being a scam.
In addition, Vogelsmeier tends not to sign up for any emails or sign up for any subscriptions. In fact, there are many existing subscriptions that she has already canceled. She wants to refrain from putting too much of her name out on the internet.
“If you see a spam call, if I were you I would not answer it,” said Vogelsmeier “If you do, they know the more likely you are to answer and they will continue to call. But if you ignore it, most likely they will stop with the calls.”