Public Safety Advisories

Public Safety Advisories



College students across the United States continue to be targeted in a common employment scam. Scammers advertise phony job opportunities on college employment websites, and/or students receive e-mails on their school accounts recruiting them for fictitious positions. This "employment" results in a financial loss for participating students.

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Protect Your Property!

The SF State University Police Department is providing this public safety advisory as a reminder for community members to be aware of and apply to reduce your risk of being victimized. Always remember that if you see something suspicious, say something.

Below is a list of tips we recommend to help to prevent your property from being stolen.

Risk Reduction Measures

  • While studying in the library or classroom NEVER leave your property unattended or out of your sight. 
  • Carry your wallet or purse on your body and not in your backpack.
  • Secure all doors and windows when leaving your residence.
  • Secure all doors and accessible windows prior to going to bed.
  • Secure all valuable items. (For example: laptops, cell phones, iPods, etc.)
  • Remove high dollar items from vehicle (GPS’S, purses, wallets, MP3 players, laptops, backpacks, luggage etc) Do not leave your property in plain view.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.

Campus Vandalism (10-14-2016)

The San Francisco State University Police Department is currently investigating several flyers that were placed in and around the campus community by a possible extremist group. These flyers depicted a SFSU community member in a very concerning manner. In addition, the manner in which the flyers were posted, may have caused damage to University property.

The University Police is asking for your help in order to find and locate any person(s) who may be responsible for the incident.

  • If anyone has information regarding the person(s) who may have posted these flyers, please contact the San Francisco State University Police Department at (415) 338-2222 or the anonymous tip line at (415) 338-3030.
  • Remain observant and vigilant when moving around campus at all times. If you see someone acting suspiciously, call the San Francisco State University Police Department immediately at 415-338-2222 or 9-1-1 (emergencies).


Auto Burglaries Advisory (09-14-2016)

The SF State University Police Department is providing this public safety advisory regarding the numerous auto burglaries in the area of University Park North.

In these incidents, the unknown suspects have gained access through smashing vehicle windows and unsecured vehicle doors. There is no suspect description and at this point and it is unknown if these incidents are related.  

Below is a list of tips we recommend for you to ensure the security of you and your residence.


Risk-reduction Measures

  • Be sure to secure your vehicle doors and do not leave valuables in plain site.
  • If you see something or someone suspicious, call the University Police. 

Building Safety Tips (08-31-2016)

The SF State University Police Department is providing this public safety advisory as a reminder to all faculty, staff and students to be aware of your surroundings at all times while in and around the SF State Downtown Campus. Use caution entering and exiting stairwells when fire alarms are activated. Always remember that if you see something suspicious, say something. Below is a list of tips we recommend that you apply to ensure the security of you, colleagues and the building.

Risk Reduction Measures:

  • Be cautious when entering the building, especially during non-traditional business hours.
  • Be alert and aware when walking in the stairwells.
  • Be observant of your surroundings and persons around you.
  • Be sure to secure your office doors when leaving and do not leave valuables in plain view.
  • Contact the on-site SFSU CSS staff if you notice that any of the stairwell doors are left propped open or if you observe the locking mechanism has been tampered with.
  • If you see something or someone that causes concern, e.g., they don’t look like they are in the appropriate place, contact Westfield Security or an SFSU CSS, both of whom are located inside the building.
DTC Security Numbers
WESTFIELD SECURITY (415) 495-7125 / (415) 229-7811
SFSU CSS staff (415) 314-7005
SFPD non-emergency (415) 553-0123   

In an emergency call 911



The SF State University Police Department is providing this public safety advisory regarding an apparent check cashing scam targeting students.

In the incidents, the suspects have approached the victims off campus on the sidewalk of 19th Avenue and Buckingham Way near the Stonestown Galleria parking lot. The suspects state to victims that they’ve lost their wallet or were the victim of a crime and request the victim’s assistance in cashing a check.

When the victims have agreed to assist, the suspects walk with the victims to an ATM or bank where the victims unknowingly deposit a fraudulent check provided to them by the suspect.

The victims then withdraw money from their accounts and provide it to the suspects. The amount of loss is in all incidents has been $500-$1500.

Below is a list of tips we recommend for you to share with our students to help them ensure the security of their bank accounts.

Risk-reduction Measures

  • Be cautious about offering assistance in situations like the one described above.
  • If an unknown subject approaches you and asks for you to cash a check and then give that person all, or a majority of the money there is a very high likelihood that the check is either fraudulent or stolen.
  • These suspects are usually very persistent and will tell you a sad or compelling story about how they are down on their luck and really need your help so be vigilant!
  • If you see something or someone suspicious, call the University Police.



From OnGuard Online

You open an email or text, and see a message like this:

"We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity."

"During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn't verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information."

“Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund.”

The senders are phishing for your information so they can use it to commit fraud.


How to Deal with Phishing Scams

Delete email and text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information (credit card and bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, etc.). Legitimate companies don't ask for this information via email or text.

The messages may appear to be from organizations you do business with – banks, for example. They might threaten to close your account or take other action if you don’t respond.

Don’t reply, and don’t click on links or call phone numbers provided in the message, either. These messages direct you to spoof sites – sites that look real but whose purpose is to steal your information so a scammer can run up bills or commit crimes in your name.

Area codes can mislead, too. Some scammers ask you to call a phone number to update your account or access a "refund." But a local area code doesn’t guarantee that the caller is local.

If you’re concerned about your account or need to reach an organization you do business with, call the number on your financial statements or on the back of your credit card.


Action Steps

You can take steps to avoid a phishing attack:

  • Use trusted security software and set it to update automatically. In addition, use these computer security practices.
  • Don't email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information.
  • Only provide personal or financial information through an organization's website if you typed in the web address yourself and you see signals that the site is secure, like a URL that begins https (the "s" stands for secure). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons.
  • Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call to confirm your billing address and account balances.
  • Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading files from emails, regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other malware that can weaken your computer's security.


Report Phishing Emails

Forward phishing emails to – and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email. You also may report phishing email to The Anti-Phishing Working Group, a group of ISPs, security vendors, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies, uses these reports to fight phishing.

If you might have been tricked by a phishing email:

  • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at
  • Visit the FTC’s Identity Theft website. Victims of phishing could become victims of identity theft; there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.