It was bound to happen: phone scammers have finally impersonated UO police in their attempts to defraud people and take their money.
Phone-based fraud and scams have been on the rise nationally, and state and local law enforcement have put out warnings for months. But November 19, campus law enforcement received its first report (from a UO associate professor) of someone claiming to be UOPD in an effort to get illicit funds. The fraudulent caller said the professor would need to send money to avoid arrest.
This fits the profile of a common phone-based scam where a caller will claim to be from a law enforcement agency, or another official government entity like the IRS or Immigration Services. They can even spoof official phone numbers on caller ID to seem more authentic. The caller identifies him or herself as being with the agency in question, and attempts to scare the recipient by saying that the person is being investigated for a crime or infraction, or has immigration issues, or has not paid taxes, etc. and then tries to get the person to make a payment to avoid legal trouble.
Law enforcement or any other government agency will never call someone and demand some kind of immediate payment. Also, anyone has the right and the ability to verify any claim by independently calling an actual agency, and asking for information about the topic in question to see if there is any validity to the call they received. Never give money or personal information to an unknown party over the phone; always check separately with an agency for verification.
International students in particular should contact the UO's International Office with questions about any claims of problems with visas, grades, payments, or any other serious issue.