Scammers targeting school-aged families

Scammers targeting school-aged families
Posted on 10/04/2018
Scam AlertARLINGTON, Tenn. (Arlington Community Schools) – Scammers posing as local schools are targeting families in the mid-south.

A local family recently alerted Arlington Community Schools of the scam in which the caller posed as a “high school official” and demanded payment for ACT materials. In this particular call, the scammer, who used a 901-area code, said he worked for AHS and needed a valid credit card to mail a practice ACT exam.

The caller knew extensive details about the family, including the home address and the name of a child living in the home. According to the family, the caller told them to pay immediately and claimed he could not accept the payment at a later date.

ACS strongly urges families to be cautious should they receive similar calls. ACS will never demand or ask for credit card or sensitive information over the phone. If you are targeted in this scam or a similar one, we highly encourage you to hang up the phone and call the school directly. The front office or administrator will provide you with accurate information.

Frauds and scams are always evolving, but there are common elements found in all of them:

1. Sense of Urgency  -- A fraudster creates a short time frame to urge the victim to make an immediate decision. The overall goal is to prevent the victim from thinking things over and doing the proper research to verify the story. Take your time when making financial decisions.

2. The Call Appears Local -- Just because the caller I.D. says “Arlington, TN” doesn’t mean the person on the other end is your neighbor or friend. According to a new study, nearly half of all cellphone calls next year will come from scammers, many of which will display a local area code. New technology allows scammers to easily clone local phone numbers.

Best practice: just hang up if you question the validity of the call. Personally contact the school for safe measures.