Duquesne, CMU officials warn of scam
Officials at Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon universities in Pittsburgh are warning their campuses about a credit card scam that has targeted international college students.
The scam resurfaced recently, almost a month after officials at CMU said students there were first contacted.
Officials at Duquesne said con artists have called at least two students claiming to be police officers and seeking to collect on fines. Although the initial complaint dated to the start of the fall semester, a second student reported a similar call last week.
The callers ask students to provide a credit card number or a Green Dot prepaid card to pay their fines, or face arrest.
A Duquesne University spokeswoman said one international student there lost several hundred dollars to the con artists earlier this semester but was reluctant to file a police report. A second student reported a similar call last week.
“The office of international programs sent out a memo to alert all international students,” said university spokeswoman Karen Ferrick-Roman.
Jeffrey Besong, chief of police at Point Park University, said his office put out a campus-wide alert on Thursday after authorities at CMU — who first put out an alert on Oct. 22 — notified them that several foreign students in the city‘s Oakland section had been contacted earlier this week by con artists claiming to be police.
“I just passed it on to our students just in case. We do have a large international population here,” Besong said.
Besong said he has heard no complaints from students at Point Park but wanted to warn them that police do not follow such protocols to collect fines. He asked that students contact university police should they receive such calls.
“If you are contacted in this fashion, please hang up — do not talk with or provide any information to the caller,” Besong said.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or [email protected].