By Dateline Staff
UC Davis police are warning of widespread telephone and email scams that have victimized students in recent months. If you receive email, phone calls or other messages requesting that you send someone money, it is almost certainly a scam.
These scams do not specifically target students and have been reported nationwide. One common variation is a recorded phone message in Mandarin Chinese but there are many others in circulation. Police said they had received four reports of phone scams since the beginning of summer, and a report of attempted fraud on the community site ULoop.edu came in recently.
The messages may say that you have gotten a job offer, are about to be arrested, that you have won a prize, that you may get an apartment, that someone needs help transferring money or that your visa is about to expire. In all cases, the scammer will, sooner or later, demand that you send them money in some form, including as gift cards for Amazon, iTunes, Walmart, Target or other retailers.
Police advise: Do not send money in any form in response to such requests. If you think you have been a victim of fraud, or have information about such a crime, call the Police Department by phone, 530-754-2677.