UNT, TWU and Denton police departments partner to educate community on scams
DENTON (UNT), Texas — The University of North Texas Police Department is teaming up with Texas Woman’s University and city of Denton police departments to help community members recognize and avoid being victimized by scams.
According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, millions of dollars are lost every year as a result of scams. COVID-19 offered new opportunities for scammers, and the IRS “Dirty Dozen” list for 2020 included many coronavirus-related scams, as well as many that have been on past lists.
“We felt that a targeted education campaign might reduce the number of our citizens being victimized by scammers,” said Capt. Jeremy Polk with the UNT Police Department. “Our student communities in Denton rotate in and out frequently, and scammers are adapting to new social norms. We knew TWU and Denton police departments would want to join together in getting the word out. Our three agencies work together often to help solve problems in our communities.”
The educational campaign offers members of the campus and surrounding communities advice on how to help if they suspect someone they care about is being scammed, how to recognize signs of a scam, common types of scams and where scammers often find victims, online resources to check if they suspect a scam and common tactics used by scammers.
“To achieve our goal of creating a successful learning and teaching environment, and to keep everyone safe, our department will take every opportunity to educate our students, faculty and staff about possible scams,” said TWU Department of Public Safety Sgt. Scott Fleitman.
Efforts by Denton area officers kicked off on Oct. 1 with an organized outreach campaign between the three departments, including social media, community newsletters and speaking engagements.
“We feel it is incredibly important to be proactive in educating the public about different types of scams, now more than ever. This pandemic has left so many people struggling, and we want to do everything we can to prevent criminals from further victimizing our residents,” said Allison Beckwith, Denton Police Department Public Information Officer.
Check out the UNT Police Department’s twitter series on how to avoid scams on their twitter page @UNTPolice