NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Old Dominion University Police Department is warning students of a scam that is affecting the campus community.

According to an alert sent to students Friday, ODUPD is hearing reports of scammers approaching individuals, telling them a sympathetic story, and then asking the person to send them money through a money transfer app.

The scammers are then able to get consensual control of the victim’s phone and gain access to their financial apps and accounts. Once the scammers get access to the phone, they then transfer and/or withdraw money from that person’s account.

Police say that in some instances there are “multiple” scammers who distract the victim during the incident.

ODUPD also listed the following tips to prevent these incidents:

  • Be skeptical of solicited requests, if you are approached by someone you do not know requesting funds in the manner described above, please contact ODUPD immediately at 757-683-4000 or via the LiveSafe app.
  • How to tell if someone is a scammer: Scammers pressure you to act immediately, tell you to pay in a specific way, say there is a problem or a prize, and/or pretend to be from an organization you know (ODU).
  • Always remember to safeguard all personal & financial information. Do not give your phone to strangers and do not give your account credentials to anyone that comes in contact with you.
  • Protect your account with multi-factor authentication, biometrics, or a PIN.