Two police reports were filed at the Troy University Police Department within the past two weeks involving identify theft of students.
University police said the first incident involved stolen credit card numbers after a student noticed spending under their name. Police said the second involved a pre-paid card that a student received through their university refund. After they received a fraudulent notice that their account was hacked, they were advised by the hacker to transfer the money to a different account where the money was swiped.
Troy University Police Chief John McCall said this is a common trend.
“Its fairly often, believe it or not, and it’s becoming more rampant as the internet becomes more easily accessible for people,” McCall said.
McCall warns students against clicking on spam emails and using public Wi-Fi to access a sensitive website, such as your bank account. He also said to keep a watchful eye on your credit card spending because those who regularly monitor their account are more likely to catch signs of identity theft.
“Don’t let it ride, and don’t think ‘okay there’s two to three little small transactions today’ because tomorrow there may be a huge transaction,” McCall said. “Don’t let it sit.
“Come to us immediately and contact your bank as soon as you see something that doesn’t look right.”
Dean of Student Services Herbert Reeves said the two recent incidents of identity theft are alarming to the university, and he said he hopes students will educate themselves on how to stay safe.
“People are trying to scam people for money, and college students a lot of times fall victim to these scams,” Reeves said. “We’re really trying to reach out to them [students], ask them to pay particular attention to these type of things.”
Students who think they may have fallen victim to identity theft are advised by police to contact their bank, which will begin monitoring spending on their account. Police then advise students to reach out to the police department to file a report. University Police can be contacted at 334-670-3215 and are located on the first floor of Hamil Hall.