The University Police Department has recorded a total of $74,150 lost to scams in the University community over the last 12 months, with losses ranging from $3,000 to $44,000 across eight separate incidents. Personal information, such as social security numbers and bank account information, have been stolen as well. The recent rise in scamming cases reflect a longstanding trend across the country.
UPD detectives Eric Pluta and Jamie Kennison — who handle these types of cases — identified several recurrent patterns, including faking government calls, posing as buyers on online marketplaces and threatening arrest.
“It used to be that … they would call you and it was so obviously a scam, right, and you just hang up on them,” Kennison said. “They’ve gotten smarter, just like we’ve gotten smarter, and so it is super convincing.”