WSU Information Technology Services (ITS) has been made aware of a phone scam in which the caller demands immediate payment of a ‘Federal Student Tax’. The caller is using tactics similar to phishing in an effort to steal money or elicit personal, and potentially sensitive, information for malicious and/or criminal purposes.

ITS advises all WSU faculty, staff and students to be wary of telephone phishing and other scams. These can be received on campus phones, cell phones or home phones. Recent reports seem to indicate scammers have some information such as phone numbers and e-mail addresses. These callers can get pretty aggressive and threatening. The more important the caller tries to sound the less likely the call is legitimate. Do not give out personal information over the phone such as birthdate, Social Security Number, credit card information, or bank information, even if they ask you to “confirm” this information.  Do not let them connect to your computer or have you visit a web site. Hang up.

Please report any suspicious phone scams to the local police department. You may also report your experience to the Federal Trade Commission on line or call their toll free number listed on their site.

Additional information can be found at these sites:
1. This Federal Trade Commission (FTC) site discusses many types of phone scams and what to watch out for.

2. This Internal Revenue Service (IRS) site provides taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists pretending to be with the IRS.;-IRS-Identifies-Five-Easy-Ways-to-Spot-Suspicious-Calls

3., lists the top 10 phone scams. The number one scam is a credit card interest rate reduction plan.