BOSTON UNIVERSITY— It is a normal Tuesday afternoon when suddenly, all across campus, BU students’ phones begin to ring. Caller ID says that it is the BU Alerts system. The students pick up their phones.

“Hello,” says a robotic voice. “This is the Boston University Alert service with an urgent message.” So far, a normal call. Nothing out of the ordinary. “Your student account is about to expire. Please tell us your student ID and social security number before it is too late.”

Due to budget cuts, the BU Alert Calls have become a part-time credit card scam. One university official tried to defend the decision.

“The pandemic hit us hard, and we’re finding ways to make ends meet. We got the idea when President Brown fell for a similar scam call and lost the deed to Sloane House for a few hours,” said the official. “After his wife won it back in an epic game of Craps, we thought…hey! Scam calls!”

“This is really confusing,” said Lily Brown (COM ‘23). “It’s kind of genius, in a way, because it isn’t like a regular credit card scam. With normal ones I just block the number,” she said. “But I can’t do that with BU Alerts. I always have to pick up the phone, because half the time it’s a scam…but the other half is the real BU Alert calling to tell me that Warren Towers is on fire.”

“We realized that the scam calls were a great idea” said the university official, “because to students, what’s the difference between signing up for a credit card scam and paying your university tuition?”

At press time, BU Alerts began urgently trying to get in touch with you about your car’s extended warranty.

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