Penn State

The Penn State police phone number has been ‘spoofed.’ What to know about the scam

The reports of you going to jail are greatly exaggerated.

An unknown scammer has spoofed the phone number for the Penn State University Park police station, meaning they appear to be deliberately falsifying information transmitted to caller ID displays to disguise their identity, university police said.

Callers are reportedly posing as police, demanding money and threatening jail time to those who do not comply. The calls are being placed nationwide, the department said.

Those on the receiving end of spoofed calls are urged to not make payments with prepaid debit cards, provide financial or personal information or comply with anything required to receive a prize, the department said.

Complaints may also be filed with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint. Include the date and time of the call, name of the fraudulent government agency, what you were told or requested, the phone number used and any other details, Penn State police said.

“If you receive an unexpected call from 814-863-1111, it’s OK to ignore it,” the department said. “If the call is legitimate, Penn State police will leave a message and then you can call back.”

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.
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