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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Scam alert for USF students



A rash of suspicious phone calls to USF students prompted university officials this week to send out more than 50,000 emails alerting students to a potential fraud. The move came after several students reported receiving phone calls in recent weeks from someone seeking personal information, including information about financial aid awards.

USF officials say students who receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a representative of the USF Office of Financial Aid should not give any personal information over the phone. USF never requests personal information via phone calls to students.

In all cases, legitimate staff members will identify themselves with their full name and the name of the office.  All Tampa campus financial aid telephone numbers start with area code 813 and prefix 974.

“It’s important for students to know that USF is not releasing their personal information,” said USF spokesperson Ken Gullette. “We take student confidentiality very seriously. Whether it is done by email or by telephone, con artists use many methods to track down their targets. The important thing to remember is that even if the caller sounds convincing, don’t give out any personal information on the phone.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:19am]


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