On September 9, Fordham University’s Safety and Security Department broadcasted an email alert to the university warning of a telephone scam involving a caller posing as a college representative, offering thousands of dollars in grant money in exchange for a $99 fee sent through Western Union.
The scam had already been perpetrated against Columbia University and was aimed at both students and parents. It also used faulty Columbia addresses and telephone numbers to appear legitimate, according to Fordham University’s security alert.
The alert stated that no Fordham addresses or telephone numbers were used in the scam.
“There have not been any Fordham students victimized by this scam to the best of my knowledge.” John Carroll, Associate Vice President for Safety and Security, said.
Fordham students however, seemed unimpressed with the telephone con’s ingenuity.
“People will do anything for money these days,” Jake Leonen, FCLC’11 said. “But it is sad that people will cheat and steal to get it.”
“It’s common sense,” Frank Romano, FCLC’13 said. “Why would a university ask for money so it could give you a grant?”
Neither Romano nor Leonen were approached by the scam, but Romano went on to say that he would be “suspicious” of anyone offering money through the phone.
Students solicited by the scam should immediately report the incident to the Safety and Security Department, according to Carroll. He also said that victims should call the New York Police Department in addition to University Security.
“Anytime one needs to send money in advance, that should be a red flag warning to not become involved,” said Carroll. “Hopefully, no prospective or current student will fall victim to and believe this.”