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Scam log
Documenting scam reports received by the University of Illinois Police Department so university community members can be better informed about what to look out for.

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  • Moving money

    A U. of I. student was contacted via social media by an unknown person who sent the student electronic copies of checks totaling $5,000. The student was instructed to send $3,000 to two other unknown people. The student later discovered that the checks totaling $5,000 were fraudulent, but he had already sent his $3,000 to the other accounts.

  • Fake arrest warrant

    A U. of I. student reported that he had been defrauded of $3,500. The student received a call from someone purporting to be a law enforcement officer from Chicago who had a warrant for the student’s arrest related to a drug investigation. To resolve the warrant, the student was instructed to wire $2,500 to an unknown person via Bitcoin and also purchase $1,000 in gift cards to a retail store and read the card information over the phone. The student complied with the instructions.

  • Knockoff headphones

    Two U. of I. students reported that they had been defrauded of $150 each after attempting to buy headphones. The headphones offered through an online dealer were purported to be brand name, but the students received knockoff versions after purchasing them.

  • Fake arrest warrant

    A U. of I. student reported that she had been the victim of a telephone scam. The student received a call from someone purporting to be a member of the U.S. Marshals Service who claimed that the student’s Social Security number had been compromised and that he had a warrant for her arrest. He directed the student to wire $2,900 to an unknown account via Bitcoin to resolve the matter. The student completed the transaction and then contacted police after the caller demanded more money.

  • Exploitation

    A U. of I. student reported that he had been the victim of an exploitation scam. An unknown offender contacted the student through a social media app and demanded money or the offender would post a nude video of the student on the internet. The video had been taken without the student’s consent. The student did not pay, and the video has not been posted.

  • Coworker requests gift cards

    A U. of I. faculty member reported he was the victim of deceptive practices. The faculty member received an email that he believed was from a colleague requesting that he purchase gift cards with the promise to reimburse. The faculty member sent approximately $4,400 worth of gift cards before a store clerk informed him of the scam.

  • Fake pet dealer

    A U. of I. student reported that she had been the victim of deceptive practices. The student attempted to buy a cat through an online dealer and paid the $650 purchase price with an electronic payment app. Shortly thereafter, at the request of the dealer, the student paid an additional $895. The student then received a third request for an additional payment, at which point she realized it was a scam.

  • Coworker requests gift cards

    A U. of I. student reported that she was the intended victim of deceptive practices after receiving an email that appeared to come from one of her professors asking her to buy gift cards and send the card information to a third party. The professor sent an email shortly thereafter warning that he had not sent the original email. The student had already purchased the gift cards but did not transfer the card information.

  • Fake arrest warrant

    A U. of I. student reported that she had been the victim of deceptive practices. The student received a call from an unknown person purporting to be a representative of the Chinese embassy in Chicago and that the student would be arrested if she did not pay money to the police. In separate transactions on Tuesday and Thursday, the student transferred $50,000 to a bank account in China.

  • Fake investigation

    A U. of I. student reported that he had been the victim of an online scam. On Feb. 23, the student was contacted through a messaging app by a person purporting to be an employee of a package delivery service and stating that the student was being investigated for money laundering. The scammer instructed the student to wire $20,121 to an unknown person to close the investigation, and the student complied.