Last year at this time, the COVID-19 pandemic had deep-sixed in-person classes, normal occupancy of campus housing, and many other routines of life on BU’s campuses. But one thing even the pandemic couldn’t kill was online scams, often aimed at international students. 

According to a BU Today piece last fall, at least 22 scams were reported last August, and they defrauded BU students of almost $300,000. This year, with the pandemic now fading, the BU Police Department expects more and bolder efforts from scammers.

Robert Molloy, BUPD deputy chief, saw one such deception two weeks ago, when a trusting BU student placed an ad on Craigslist’s “Apartments Wanted” section and quickly received a promising response, complete with an apartment address. The deal would be guaranteed, the student was told, as soon as $3,200 was deposited into a designated bank account. Predictably, Molloy says, the “renter” vanished as soon as…

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