UCF Police said it has received "several reports" from students this week who've apparently been scammed into send nude or explicit photographs to people online, who've in turn threatened to share those photos with the students' friends and family unless the students buy gift cards or pay money.
"UCFPD is investigating these crimes and wants to make you aware of steps you can take to protect yourself," the department said in a release shared on Twitter.
In another apparently scam, a student said he was approached by two men who "convinced him to deposit a check" via mobile banking and then "followed him to an ATM so he could withdraw money."
The men asked the student if he was interested in making money "right away," according to the incident report. The men told the student to deposit a $3,100 check into his bank account and then send them $400 via CashApp.
The student reportedly was having issued with the app, so the man asked him to drive to a Wawa gas station on University Blvd. to try and send it there. The student sent the money and then contacted police. He told officers he felt pressured and intimidated.
UCFPD Sgt. Matthew Scott, a supervisor with the Community Partnerships Unit, told FOX 35 scammers like these target students because of their age.
"You have a lot of younger individuals who are impressionable. They've never been in situations they have before. Maybe they're not as money savvy, as typical as more adults are, and so [scammers] know that they can come into campus and walk up to random students to say, ‘Hey, can you help me?’ Because our students are a compassionate community, they want to help. But unfortunately, these individuals prey on that, and they take advantage of them," he said.
"You should never share your personal or banking information with people you do not know," UCF Police said. "And never send photographs to anyone that could be a source of embarrassment or harassment."
Police also reminded people to ignore text messages or emails asking you to purchase gift cards or to send money to someone you do not know. Instead, ignore it and contact police.
Students were also reminded not to click suspicious links or respond to messages or calls.
People can contact UCF Police at 407-823-5555 or 911 for an active emergency.