DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina Central University in Durham issued a campus alert to students about a scam involving tattoos.

The university made the alert Tuesday afternoon about recent reports it received.

Campus police said in a news release that the rip-off usually works when tattoo services are offered to students through Instagram. After students have made payments, the scammers then cut off “all contact”, the news release said.

“These scammers usually offer their services at a discounted price and approach students on social media platforms or in person,” N.C. Central Police Chief Damon Williams said in the release.

The rip-off artists have also used flyers or posters to advertise the services.

“Some of them claim to be professional tattoo artists, while others claim to be students themselves,” Williams said.

University officials said students should research any business or person offering to do a tattoo.

“Check the artist’s portfolio, read reviews and make sure they have a license to practice tattooing. Remember, tattoos are permanent,” Williams said in the release.

Authorities said anyone who has been scammed should contact University Police about the matter.

“We take these matters seriously and will take appropriate action to ensure the safety and well-being of our students,” Williams said.