Student Affairs IT

Avoiding Phone Scams


Network and Telecom services has reported an increase in “scam” calls being placed to UO numbers.  We wanted to remind you to be wary of all calls and remember to carefully evaluate if callers are who they say they are.   

Here are some examples of common fraudulent scam calls:


Calls from Microsoft or “IT” about your computer being infected or broken.


A caller identifies themselves as being from Microsoft or being from “The IT department” and tells you your computer is infected by a virus or broken.  They may ask you to perform tasks on your computer to prove that you have “many errors” and then try and get you to allow them to remotely connect to your computer to assist you with fixing it.  


This one is particularly dangerous and may sound familiar, since SAIT will often contact users to do remote sessions to help you fix problems on your computer. Remember we will always call from a 346 on-campus number and we will only direct you to the UO website, to connect with us.  If you are ever suspicious just hang up on the caller and call us back at 346-1130 to confirm.


More information from Microsoft on avoiding tech support phone scams:



Calls from the IRS about your taxes.


It is almost tax season again and you may become the target of a sophisticated phone scam that can be pretty scary.  A caller will identify themselves as an agent of the IRS, tell the taxpayer that they are late on taxes and must wire money immediately.   If the victim refuses to cooperate they become hostile and threaten them with arrest and fines.   If you receive such a call, hang up.   If you are concerned you may owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and they can assist you in making sure all is in order.


More information from the IRS on avoiding IRS phone scams:



One-ring calls from numbers you don’t recognize


A very active phone scam going on now utilizes a robotic dialer to spam a massive amount of phone numbers with a single ring.  The scam depends upon you seeing this missed call and then calling back to see who it was.   There is no harm in receiving or answering the call.  The problems begin when you choose to call that number back.   The scammers hope you’ll call back, either because you believe a legitimate call was cut off, or you will be curious about who called. If you do, chances are you’ll hear something like, “Hello. You’ve reached the operator, please hold.” All the while, you’re getting slammed with some hefty charges — a per-minute charge on top of an international rate.


More information from the FTC on avoiding One-ring phone scams:




These are just a few common examples. There is no limit to the lengths these scammers will go, including posing as an employee at your bank/credit union/credit card company to calling your hotel room and posing as an employee. If you are ever asked to provide sensitive information over the phone, never be afraid to hang up if you are uncomfortable with the situation.



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