Fake apartment sublet

At the beginning of the year, a University of Illinois student sought a summer sublet in New York and received a message from someone on Reddit claiming to have an available apartment. After switching to text messages, the scammer emailed a sublet agreement, and the student paid a $1,200 deposit through CashApp. Upon arriving in […]

Fake job ad

A U. of I. student reported receiving an email advertising a job opportunity as an administrative assistant. After exchanging texts with the scammer, the student received two checks for $500 and deposited them into her account. The scammer then requested proof of the deposit and directed the student to send $1,000 via Apple Pay to […]

Facebook Marketplace fraud

A U. of I. student reported attempting to buy a $600 iPhone 15 Pro Max he found on Facebook Marketplace. He contacted the seller and agreed to send the money through PayPal. The seller provided a tracking number that did not work, and the iPhone never arrived. The student could no longer make contact with […]

Fake police investigation

A University of Illinois student reported being contacted by someone claiming to be from ITALK-BB phone company, who said her information was used to open a phone line in China involved in a scam. She was then connected to supposed Chinese authorities, who accused her of involvement in a scam that defrauded people out of […]

False threats

A woman reported receiving a message from an unknown person on Instagram asking her to be a muse for an art project. After agreeing, she received a text message from the scammer telling her she would receive $2,500 but requested $500 for supplies. When she refused, the scammer emailed her a $400 check and asked […]

Fake art project

A U. of I. student reported being the victim of an internet-based scam in April. The student was contacted via the chat feature on the website Deviant Art by someone purporting to be an artist who wanted to use one of the student’s drawings as inspiration in exchange for credit and compensation. After allowing his […]

False threats

A U. of I. student reported that he received several phone calls and text messages from an unknown person who was threatening to harm the student’s family members unless the student sent money. The student used Zelle to send $3,000 in two transactions to an unknown person. The scammer demanded even more money to “cancel […]

Fake apartment sublease

An Illinois student reported that she was seeking an apartment sublease near her summer internship in Madison, Wisconsin, and sent a text message to an unknown person advertising an apartment on Craigslist. The advertiser asked the student to complete an application and send it back with a copy of her driver’s license. The advertiser then […]

Hotel call

An employee of a hotel on campus reported that she received a call at the front desk from an unknown person who claimed that she had a warrant for her arrest and that she needed to pay $900 to clear her name. The employee provided personal information to the caller before recognizing the scam and […]