College students: New target for scammers

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – By now most of you have heard of the IRS scam, where callers say you owe taxes and threaten arrest.

Now, there’s a new twist that is targeting college students.

It tracks down student numbers and the caller claims you owe a federal student tax. In some cases, the scammer is after more than just your money.

“I think that that would terrify people, especially students when it comes to money and college because all you can think is if I don’t get this paid I’m going to get kicked out of college and I don’t know what to do after that, so yeah, that would terrify people,” said Paula Marlin, a USC Upstate sophomore

She admits, a lot of students aren’t savvy about finances and wouldn’t realize there is no such thing as a federal student tax. But even unsuspecting parents can be fooled.

“We had one student whose mother was ready, who had gotten a cashiers check, was going to make this payment and we were able to intervene and actually stop the process and the payment from being made,” said Chief Klay Peterson with the USC Upstate University Police.

He warns, the threatening callers may also try to nab your social security number and steal your identity. The scammers often manipulate the caller ID to make it look like it’s from the IRS.

So how do scammers get the telephone numbers of students? It turns out there are websites offering that information and some scammers may also hit up the college directories themselves.

“College is already stressful as it is and for you to do this scam and get more money from us and we’re already basically broke, that’s just terrible,” said Marlin

So be careful how you share your information, And if you get the call, don’t give in to pressure or the scammers will do a number on you.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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