Scammers target parents of Cal State Fullerton students

Police are warning Cal State Fullerton students about a new scam targeting parents’ bank accounts on the basis of a fake arrest.

The scam involves calling parents in the middle of the night and telling them their child has been arrested. The scammer typically claims the child was pulled over during a traffic stop and drugs were found inside their vehicle.

The caller then asks the parent to wire bail money to release their child from custody.

“It’s always a detective or somebody from Fullerton PD,” said Cal State Fullerton Police Captain Scot Wiley. “That’s who they’re identifying as and they’re saying if you want to have this person moved from Fullerton PD, bailed out and taken back to Cal State Fullerton, you need to give them a certain amount of money.”

Police said they’ve received multiple reports of a similar scam tactic over the last two weeks. Authorities believe the scammers are typically researching their targets before throwing out the bait.

“One of the parents was called in Arizona or Nevada, so they’re really reaching out far and obtaining their phone numbers,” said Wiley.

So far, police said no parents have fallen victim to the phone scam. Some victims, who were able to reach their children before realizing it was a scam, said they’ve confronted the perpetrators who immediately hung up.

A campus-wide warning was sent out to students and parents reminding people that the police department would never ask the public to wire funds for bail money.

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