Social Media Scam Safety
Tips for Avoiding Social Media Scams
Recently, there have been reports of Hokies and their families being exploited on fake Virginia Tech Facebook pages, groups, and other social media channels. These “Class of” and “Parent-Family” groups may be created by companies or suspicious profiles looking to solicit money and personal information from individuals.
The Virginia Tech Police Department would like to remind the Hokie community that these are the official Virginia Tech Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. For a full list of official university social media accounts, please see the Virginia Tech Social Media Directory.
Issues being reported:
- Individuals are invited to join these groups and other social media pages which offer Virginia Tech merchandise for sale. However, the merchandise is typically not university-approved by Virginia Tech Licensing and Trademarks. Subsequently, those that make purchases have learned that their credit cards have been hacked and/or the merchandise that they received is poor quality and not officially-licensed merchandise.
- In some instances on these fake groups and pages, inappropriate or pornographic photos are shared, or the contact information of those purchasing merchandise is shared.
Here are some general tips to avoid being scammed online:
- Only follow and engage with the official Virginia Tech social media accounts.
- Do not treat groups or pages that are not run as official Virginia Tech accounts as trusted sources of information. If in doubt, please send a private message to the official Virginia Tech accounts or email email@example.com.
- Be sure to scrutinize the information in a group or page and be wary of those that do not include official Virginia Tech admins. Just because a social media account, group, or page says “official,” that doesn’t make it so.
- Scammers are great at mimicking official logos, language, and other details that would resemble an official Facebook page or a trusted unofficial page. Look closely before you join a Facebook group or page.
- Report anything that looks suspicious to the social media platform, using the “report” feature within the social media platform. If it’s inappropriate or doesn’t relate to the group’s purpose or intended content, report it and leave the group or unfollow the page.
- Only purchase Virginia Tech merchandise from the official Hokie Shop or other retail partners such as Hokie Gear, Campus Emporium, and Alumni Hall. Follow along with Virginia Tech Licensing and Trademarks’ Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts for merchandise updates.
Individuals should look for terms such as “officially-licensed” and “the Collegiate Licensing Company” before purchasing any university branded merchandise. If there are questions or concerns regarding the legitimacy of a branded product, please send a screenshot and link to firstname.lastname@example.org. To report unlicensed university merchandise, please refer to the bottom of this page.
Click here for more safety tips from the Virginia Tech Police Department.