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FBI warning consumers to be on alert for phone scam targeting college students

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MILWAUKEE -- College students are the latest target. Scam artists are preying on the vulnerable and now threatening students attempting to con them out of thousands of dollars.

It beings with a phone call seemingly from the FBI.

"It would be concerning," said Hank Greening, Marquette University senior.

College students on Marquette University's campus are on alert after a phone scam is circulating around Madison and Green Bay.

"They may be taking advantage of college students," said Robert Botsch, FBI Milwaukee criminal branch.

Robert Botsch, assisting special agent in charge with the FBI Milwaukee criminal branch, has a warning that fraudsters are using the FBI's phone number on caller ID's in a phone scam.

"In these telephone calls, they are requesting individuals do certain things whether it's provide some personal identifiable information whether it's sending money to avoid being arrested for unpaid student loans, unpaid income taxes, unpaid parking tickets -- a variety of different scenarios," said Botsch.

Officials say during each attempt, the caller claims to have specific student information. Because of the advancement of technology, it's hard to track the scammers down, but authorities are gathering information.

"The more people that reported it, the more patterns are developed, the easier it is at some point it may be to vector on where the actual actor or actors are located," said Botsch.

"Tell everyone you know this is something that's going on," said Greening.

Students hope spreading the word will lessen the amount of potential victims.

"You just got to be more diligent, be more aware of what's going on. Always kind of be thinking is this legitimate? Does this sound real?" said Greening.

It's important to know the FBI is not going to call you and request any personal identifiable information or demand payment on anything.

If you receive these calls, do not follow the caller’s instructions. Rather, you should:

  • Notify your banking institutions.
  • Contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file.
  • Contact your local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger.
  • File a complaint through the Internet Crime Complaint Center www.IC3.gov.
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