Police Warning People of Scams After Two WKU Students Report Being Victims

By Kristin Martin | 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The Bowling Green Police Department is receiving reports of people in our area becoming victims of scams.

"It says, "You want to work from home? You can make hundreds a week. All you have to do is contact this e-mail,'" said Nick Johnson, a student at Western Kentucky University who receives e-mails from scammers on a weekly basis.

It sounds tempting, but e-mails like that caused two WKU students to lose money just this week.

"They contacted us. They were actually victims. I think one of them lost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,300 and another one lost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,400," said Officer Ronnie Ward of the BGPD.

Information Technology at Western sees it all the time.

"Actually per month we filter over a million spam e-mails out of student and faculty/staff e-mail. Some of them get through. You can't filter everything," said Gordon Johnson, the associate vice president for WKU IT.

Bowling Green police say they're receiving more reports from people all over the area.

"What we've noticed is there's lots of scams coming in various ways -- by mail or phone or text or e-mails or even Facebook messages or Twitter messages. We just want to alert people to the fact that these are scams, and if something sounds to good to be true, then it is," Ward said.

That's why a lot of people ignore the e-mails.

"When I lived on campus my roommate would tell me, 'Hey, I got this same e-mail as you. Want to try it?' I'm like, 'No, let's not, because we could really hurt ourselves, especially with all these scam artists anymore, someone could get your social security number, your bank account and you're broke, and there's nothing they can do about it," Nick Johnson said.

Both Gordon Johnson and Ward said researching the names and numbers online before acting could prevent you from losing money as scams are often listed there.

Police say when they've been able to fully investigate scams like this, it often leads to people out of the country, which makes it difficult to catch and stop the scammers.

Johnson said WKU students, faculty and staff who get e-mails from potential scammers can send e-mails like that to spam@wku.com and they'll enter it into the spam filters.

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