Dear campus community member:
We would like to inform you of a series of crimes that have recently occurred in the campus area so you have the information you need to take the appropriate precautions. We are issuing this Campus Safety Notice in accordance with a federal law requiring universities to disclose information about certain crimes on or immediately adjacent to campus property.
We are sending this message to heighten your awareness, to enable you to take actions which can help increase your safety, and to aid in the prevention of similar crimes.
Within the past week, three incidents of scams referred to as “sexual extortion” have been reported:
- Sept. 20: A U. of I. student reported after they shared intimate pictures of themselves with an unknown person on Instagram. The offender threatened to post the pictures on public social media platforms.
- Sept. 21: A U. of I. student reported they were engaged in casual conversation with an unknown person on Instagram. The conversation became sexual. The offender invited the student to a video chat to engage in sexual acts. After the call ended, the offender demanded money under the threat of sharing the video with the student’s social media contacts.
- Sept. 22: A U. of I. student reported an incident similar to the Sept. 21 report. The student was engaged in a casual conversation with an unknown person on Instagram. The conversation became sexual. The offender invited the student to a video chat to engage in sexual acts. After the call ended, the offender demanded money under the threat of sharing the video with the student’s social media contacts.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is providing resources to assist those involved in this incident and will continue to take actions to maintain the safety and security of the campus community.
The only person responsible for sexual misconduct is the perpetrator.
It is important to follow some safety tips to reduce your risk of being targeted for sexual extortion:
- If you engage in intimate conversations electronically, it’s important that you know and trust the other person and that everyone involved is a consenting adult.
- Do not share personal information on social media. Scammers can use that information later to convince you that they are someone else.
- Use strong privacy settings, and do not add someone as a friend if you don’t know them personally.
If you are unsure whether you are dealing with a scam, you can consult University Police by calling 217-333-1216 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send us an anonymous message using the contact form on our website.
If you become concerned about a friend or yourself as a result of these incidents, the Student Assistance Center (SAC) can help. Staff in the SAC are available Monday through Friday between 8:30-5 p.m. Additionally, the Emergency Dean Program provides a university administrator who is on-call to assist in health or safety emergency situations that occur after business hours and require an immediate university response. Call 217-333-0050 to reach the SAC or the Emergency Dean. Additional information about these programs and others is available at odos.illinois.edu/community-of-care.
For more information on sexual misconduct, please review these resources: