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Campus Watch Archives

February 23, 2005

SCAM ALERT

Yesterday afternoon, a representative of the Southwestern University Police Department in Georgetown, Texas contacted our department in reference to a fraud scam which had been occurring on their campus. The scam is a simple one in which a subject will go to a sorority house on or near campus and sell hair salon coupons at drastically reduced prices — usually $50.00 for a $150.00 coupon. Upon attempting to redeem the coupon, the student discovers the coupons were not made or issued by the salon and were not honored.

Just a few hours after taking this call, the Austin Police Department notified our department that they had just taken a call in which victims of the same scam from a year ago had seen the suspect at Guadalupe Street and 26th Street distributing unrelated coupons to subjects who filled out a credit card application. After filling out the credit card application, the subject would take a digital photograph of the student's UT identification card.

In both cases, the subject is described as a white male in his late 20s or early 30s, 5'10" to 6' tall, slender build and goes by the name of "Brian." The subject may drive a red pick-up truck.

There are a few things you need to be aware of with regard to the actions of this subject. First of all, if a deal sounds too good to be true then it probably is. If someone wants to sell you a discounted coupon for a business, then check the validity of the coupon before giving the seller your money. All you need to do is ask the seller to stand by while you call the business listed on the coupon to check its authenticity. Also, you should never allow someone to take a photograph of your identification card(s) — especially not someone you just handed a completed credit card application. Someone can easily steal your identity once he or she has obtained your personal information, credit information and a photograph of your identification card.

Burdine Hall, 2505 University

Occurred on 2-22-05 between 10:50 a.m. and 10:55 a.m.

Theft: An orange, red, yellow and purple colored purse containing a set of keys and various credit and identification cards was stolen when it was left in an unsecured 2nd floor women's restroom for 5 minutes. Loss value: $40.00.

Peter T. Flawn Academic Center, #2 West Mall

Occurred between 2-21-05 at 1:00 a.m. and 2-22-05 at 8:00 p.m.

Theft: A black backpack containing 3 new Ross shirts and 3 boxes of blank checks was stolen when it was left under a table in an unsecured 3rd floor study area. The owner left the backpack under the table to go to the Union Building to "get refreshments." The 3rd floor of the Peter T. Flawn Academic Center was closed when the owner returned an hour later. The owner went back to the 3rd floor of the Peter T. Flawn Academic Center 18 hours later to find the backpack was no longer there. Loss value: $20.00.

Robert A. Welch Hall, 105 East 24th Street

Occurred between 2-18-05 at 5:00 p.m. and 2-22-05 at 11:00 a.m.

Theft: Two Iomega external 100 MB Zip Drives were stolen from an unsecured 2nd floor computer laboratory. A student reported seeing a suspicious subject loitering inside the laboratory during the time frame of the thefts. The subject left the room when the student approached. The subject was described as a white male, 5' 8" to 6' tall, wearing a sleeveless t-shirt and with an unknown tattoo on his upper left arm. It is believed the theft occurred on 2-21-05 at 8:00 PM as one of the computers logged a "Hot Disconnect Error" at that time. Loss value: $200.00.

2507 San Antonio

Occurred on 2-23-05 at 1:14 a.m.

Public Intoxication: A non-UT subject was found lying on the pavement on the west side of the roadway. It took the officer approximately 30 seconds to awaken the subject. The subject stated he has had numerous "black outs" as a result of his degree of alcohol consumption. The subject was found to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage to the point Austin EMS needed to transport the subject to a local hospital for the treatment of alcohol poisoning.

George I. Sánchez Building, 1912 Speedway

Occurred between 2-21-05 at 9:30 a.m. and 2-22-05 at 10:00 a.m.

Theft: Two black canvas Targus laptop computer bags, each containing an Apple G4 iBook laptop computer, were stolen from an unsecured 5th floor storage room. The room, which is normally kept locked, was left unsecured to allow contract workers into the room to work. Loss value: $2,450.00.

Campus Wide

Occurred at various times.

Noncriminal Calls: In addition to the above criminal cases, UTPD responded to 9 alarm calls, 3 suspicious activity reports, 1 unsecured door report, 2 medical emergency calls, and 4 public assist calls between 2-22-05 and 2-23-05.