Police warn of internet scams targeting students

URBANA – Police are reminding students not to send money to or accept checks from individuals they have never met.

The University of Illinois Police Department has taken a series of reports recently from students who say others have scammed them or attempted to scam them out of money.

Some students have received emails from an individual identifying himself as Riley McMurray, purportedly a recruitment director from ISB Manufacturing. The emails offer a job, and inform the students that they will receive a check in the mail via FedEx. They are instructed to deposit that check, keep 10 percent for themselves and then wire the rest of the money from their own accounts to a third party.

The original checks do not clear, and the students lose the money they wire.

In a separate scam, a U. of I. student reported at 11:19 a.m. April 14 that he had contacted by an individual purporting to represent the Givaudan Group. On March 26, the student received an online message from an unknown person regarding a job opportunity. The student was sent a check for $3,890. He was directed to deposit the check and wire $2,577 back to the sender. The student did so on April 8, and was informed by his bank on April 13 that the original check did not clear.

U. of I. Police have received a total of 13 reports of deceptive practices and six fraud reports so far in 2016. UIPD received 25 deceptive practices reports and 10 fraud reports in all of 2015.

Anyone who receives a suspicious message should contact police. In addition to reporting to police, a complaint may be filed the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, at www.ic3.gov. Filing a complaint with the IC3 should be supplementary to a police report, not instead of.

For more information on reducing your risk of becoming a target of an internet scam, visit ic3.gov.