Many students, faculty, and staff have received telemarketing calls from numbers that appear to be from a Columbia campus phone number. The caller altered his/her caller ID to make it appear the calls are from an (803) 777-XXXX number, when they are actually automated calls or phishing calls. The practice of altering caller ID is called spoofing. Spoofing is often used to trick someone into disclosing private information, such as identification numbers, financial information, and more.
The university has contacted several agencies to ask for assistance in blocking spoof calls. Unfortunately, since the calls do not originate on the university network, there is no way to block the calls. The Federal Communications Commission provides additional details on their website.
As a reminder, students, faculty, and staff should never give out personal information such as social security numbers, VIP IDs, or other identifying information to unexpected callers, or to those you feel may be suspicious.