Stanford police warn of phone scam

Robocalls attempting to obtain money target multiple campus departments

The Stanford University Department of Public Safety issued an alert on Friday evening warning residents to be aware of suspicious robocalls targeting the community after multiple campus departments received phone calls on numerous phones in rapid succession on Thursday.

According to campus police, the calls came from different phone numbers. The automated message was in Chinese and was an attempt to obtain money by fraudulent means from those who answered the call.

Police said to be alert if someone calls asking for personal information such as credit card or financial institution account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords or other identifying information.

If a caller says he represents a company or agency, such as a law enforcement agency, the IRS or a financial institution and requests personal information or the transfer of money in any form, hang up and dial the phone number on your account statement or listed on the website for the company or law enforcement agency to verify the authenticity of the call and caller.

If you receive a call that is suspicious or that you believe to be an attempt to defraud, contact the police.


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18 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 3, 2018 at 9:39 am

Everyone is receiving these calls. Should everyone be calling the local police? What will the police really do about them? Subpoena the phone company to track down the perps?

8 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 5, 2018 at 1:52 pm

Why are robocalls still a thing? Some weeks I have gotten as many as 10 calls a days through the whole gamut from solar energy installation, tax scams, immediate hangups, someone asks my name and then hangs up, palo alto handyman calls, warnings about a kind of computer I don't even have, some account is about to lapse, etc .... they go on forever.

Why can't these be stopped of made illegal, or at the very least traceable? This is harassment or stalking, What is wrong with our government and businesses, they seem to promulgate this kind of annoying behavior. Calls like this should at a minimum have the name of the company or organization calling ... not doing that should be a crime in itself in the call is unsolicited.

11 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 5, 2018 at 2:57 pm

I have read that the Obama administration implemented new rules and enforcement on abusive telemarketing which worked for some time. However, the telemarketing industry has been fighting back on the grounds that telemarketing is "freedom of speech" and now the Trump administration is less consumer friendly and either cancelled or stopped enforcing most of the Obama regulations.

Like this comment
Posted by Judy
a resident of Hoover School
on Jun 5, 2018 at 3:23 pm

I don’t answer or listen to message from unrecognized numbers. I just block then delete those numbers. I get a few of those daily.

2 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 5, 2018 at 4:43 pm

> I don’t answer or listen to message from unrecognized numbers.

Judy, that is am excellent strategy, except when you are expecting a call from a number you do not know ahead of time.

resident of Downtown North - funny how big glaring clues like Trump smashing environmental, worker and consumer rights protections doesn't clue in his supporters that he doesn't care a wit for them unless they have millions and billions.

Like this comment
Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 6, 2018 at 12:56 pm

I get repeated calls from the same number every day. Usually about 6.
I very tired of hearing that my ducts need cleaning.

Would a local ordinance help?
Could it be enforced against the phone Co?
would it start something?

Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 6, 2018 at 1:32 pm

While I agree with blocking obvious scam numbers, do realize that a sizeable number of numbers are now spoofed: some entity is using a legitimate number belonging to someone else - could be a random resident anywhere, could be a business.
I suggest deleting, but realize blocking and/orvreporting it as a bad number may have an unintended consequence on others.

The landline business numbers of prominent local firms have appeared on my landline caller ID; i picked up one one because I actually am a customer! I quickly realized the number had been “stolen.” I called the business, and they said they had already heard from an array of customers about it. What to do? Change your known, longstanding number you PAY for?

Sometimes one gets silence, sometimes a (criminal) pitch.

However, when legitimate numbers are blocked, then innocent people who pay for those numbers and need to use those numbers (originally assigned to them by their phone carrier)will suffer, once they find out “they” are listed in databases on the net as “suspected scam” numbers. People report these numbers! Some ARE owned by scammers, but some are being USED by scammers unbeknownst by the people/entities who really have that number.

We need the government and phone utilities to tackle this problem NOW.

Example: several years ago, before this was better known, I had an angry man call my cell, asking in threatenung tones why “I” had called him! Stunned, I assured him I had not called him and I couldn’t have butt-dialed. Now it’s clear my cell number was (and maybe still is being) used just like millions of others.’
But I don’t want any numbers associated with me to get labeled scam and blocked....what if I need to call or text someone?’

1 person likes this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2018 at 1:37 pm

I don't answer any calls with a number I don't recognize. If an unrecognized number is actually an person or business I do want to talk to, they'll leave a message. This works great.

1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 6, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Really a shame how criminals have changed the way we use common household products. Does grandma have caller ID enabled on her landline and have all her grandchildren's phone numbers memorized?

Like this comment
Posted by Paul Gomez
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2018 at 8:32 am

I think the only realistic thing we could do about these calls is just ignoring them. I personally ignore them, especially if I don't recognize the number. Sometimes I look up on Google or sites like Web Link and block the number immediately if I found people reporting it as scam.

1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 8, 2018 at 9:47 am

Ignoring phone calls works for lightly used home phones, but is really difficult if you use your phone for business and you regularly get calls from customers or colleagues that aren't programmed into your contacts list.

Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon #2
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jun 8, 2018 at 1:24 pm

You can google AT&T robo call block. There are several suggestions, none of which I have tried. Will have to get rid of the landline, I guess. Our cell phone gets very few robo calls. I have a mischievous method that occasionally satisfies my urge to strangle them. I went to the toy store in Los Altos. They will sell a cute little toy called NO. When you push the button, it screams in a most obnoxious, raspy voice - no, no,nooooooooooo repeatedly. Good for an occasional laugh. The safest way is just not to pick up the phone. Remember that if the call is legit, they will leave a message 99% of the time.

1 person likes this
Posted by allen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2018 at 7:38 am

We have 3 phones, two cell and one home. NoMoRobo came with our Sonic service and virtually stopped the landline scam calls for a while but lately a few a week get through by spoofing local numbers. Most recently it is Dave, a computer that wants to clean our air ducts, which we don't have. I carry my cell with me always and I think I have gotten one scam call ever. My wife never uses her cell, never answers it. It just sits on the charger and rings sometimes several times a day. By far the most calls we get in the house are to her cell. We have no idea why one cell gets spam and the other doesn't. Get NoMoRobo if you can. It really works. I just hope it will continue to work.

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