Virginia Tech Police warn of scam from email disguised as athletics director

Virginia Tech reports the email currently circulating has the subject line, “BE A STAR FOR...
Virginia Tech reports the email currently circulating has the subject line, “BE A STAR FOR NFL,” but there are variations of it they anticipate could pop up.(Pexels.com)
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 10:41 AM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech Police Department Thursday alerted the community of an email scam that appears to come from the university’s athletic director.

According to Virginia Tech’s IT Security Office, students, faculty and staff have reported an email scam offering a chance to use a personal vehicles to advertise for a company called “adweek.”

The office said the email currently circulating has the subject line, “BE A STAR FOR NFL,” but there are variations of it they anticipate could pop up. They’re coming from valid Virginia Tech email accounts that have been compromised.

“In this case, the email appears to be coming from the Director of Athletics Whit Babcock, however, this email is a forgery,” the university reported in a news release.

According to the school, this is a long running email scam first observed in 2016.

“In 2020, for example, scammers used the Olympics to lure in respondents. The email includes a reply address for “@adweekad.co” -- when someone replies, the scammers send a check that the person is supposed to deposit into their bank account and then get a money order to take to a “specialist” to get the car wrapped. The specialist is generally one of the scammers, and the check they sent is fake, leaving the victim out twice the amount of money that was promised,” the release said.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warnings about these types of scams at the following links:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2019/12/car-wrap-scam-targets-college-students

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2016/08/how-spot-car-wrap-scam

If you receive an email with an offer to make money for little effort, be suspicious. You should mark the message as SPAM; do not reply or email anyone in the text of the email. If you have already begun interacting with the scammers, you should stop any further communication, and if you have received a check, please contact the Virginia Tech Police Department to report the crime. You can report the incident using the VTPD non-emergency number, 540-382-4343 or online at https://police.vt.edu/crime.html.

For more information about reporting spam and phishing emails, please read the 4Help article on Self-Reporting Spam and Phishes.

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