BU student loses $150K through phone scam

Police report that many scams seem to target the Asian community.

Boston University will start divesting from fossil fuels immediately according to President Robert Brown on Thursday. Bloomberg

One student’s semester just got much more expensive.

Boston University Police are warning students of costly scams after four incidents were reported on campus since the beginning of September.

In the most recent incident, reported Sept. 15, a student transferred $150,000 overseas.

“We urge all members of our community to be vigilant against theft and fraud,” Boston University Police and Public Safety wrote in an email on Thursday Sept. 16. “Please take a moment to consider the possibility that a situation may be a scam or a fraud.”

In the email, police reported that many of the scams seem to target the Asian community. The police listed the separate incidents in reverse chronological order in the email sent to students.


The first incident involved the student wiring $150,000 in multiple installments to an overseas account, and was reported on Sept. 15. Just one day earlier, a different student wired $25,000 overseas.

Boston University

In both cases, BUPD report the students received calls from unknown individuals claiming to be Chinese Government Officials and were then accused of being involved in a crime. They were then both told that wiring the money was the only way to resolve the problem.

The third incident, reported on Sept. 13, involved a student receiving an email appearing to be from Walmart and offering a job offer. The student was then sent a check of $2,800 and was told to obtain $2,500 of money orders using the check, but after forwarding the money orders the check was not cleared.

In the earliest incident from Sept. 6, a BU student was contacted by someone claiming to be from Amazon, who told the student to send $900 over a payment app to receive $1,800 back. The student paid the $900 and did not get any money returned.

BUPD also sent a list of 11 tips to help prevent fraud activity, including not believing caller IDs, not completing upfront payments for promises, and hanging up on robocalls.

Jump To Comments


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com