University Police warns of telephone scams


The Appalachian Online

The Appalachian

Appalachian State University students and faculty received an email on Nov. 30 regarding telephone scams in several different states, including North Carolina, over the past couple of weeks.

The email said college students have been the target of the telephone scams.

The callers claim to be the IRS, local police departments and sheriff’s departments. They tell those who answer the phone calls that they owe money for different reasons. In the case of someone hanging up, the scammers call back under a false caller ID that identifies them as 911.

The victim of this call is typically told that they have committed a minor crime, such as running a red light at a traffic camera, failing to appear as a jury member or failing to pay taxes. The victim is then directed to pay over the phone ranging from $500 to $2,500.

“Generally, they refer to these as telephone scams,” said University Police Captain Todd Corley. “They are calling people telling them they owe money and assign them a green dot card, which allows the scammer to transfer profit from the victim more easily.

Corley said University Police wants people to know that no law enforcement agency is going to require you to pay for anything over the phone rather than in the mail.

This is a known scam, and alerts have been issued by the FBI to the public. University Police urge that if you receive this type of call, tell the caller you know it is a scam and you are contacting the police.

If you wish to report a call, please file a complaint through the Federal Trade Commission at  If you have any other questions or information regarding these scams, all are urged to contact University Police at 828-262-2150.

Story: Mary Wood, Intern News Reporter