Protect yourself from scammers spoofing Iowa State University phone numbers

August 13, 2018

There has been a spate of scammers spoofing Iowa State University phone numbers and targeting individuals to share their personal information. The Federal Communications Commission calls these “neighborhood spoofing scams.” The calls can come from anywhere on Earth, but criminals manipulate caller ID information so the call seems to come from the same area code as their victims. You can protect yourself by following these tips from the FCC:

  • Caller ID showing a “local” number does not mean it is necessarily a local caller.
  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.
  • Don’t provide any personal information to callers.
  • Review call blocking tools provided by your phone company or third party app developers.
  • If you are called by a scammer, feel free to file a complaint with the FCC
  • If the caller claims to be from a legitimate company or organization, hang up and call them back using a valid number found on the company or organization’s website, or on your latest bill
  • If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to press a button to stop receiving calls, or asks you to say “yes” in response to a question, hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents, or to use your “yes” to apply unauthorized charges to your bill.
  • If you answer and the caller asks for payment using a gift card, it’s likely a scam. Legitimate organizations will not ask for payment with a gift card.
  • If you have lost money as a result of a scam call, contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance. For Ames, submit a Scam Reporting Form or contact the non-emergency number at 515-239-5133.
  • Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry. Lawful telemarketers use this list to avoid calling consumers on the list.
  • Iowa State will never ask for personal information such as passwords. If you suspect you are a victim of spoofing, or have received a call from a spoofer, contact the IT Security team at
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Contact Details:

Name: the Information Technology Security team