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Police asking for help in identifying alleged campus scammers

Jordan Bebout

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This man is accused of scamming students out of hundreds of dollars. If seen or approached, call UNFPD via 911 or (904) 620-2800

This man is accused of scamming students out of hundreds of dollars. If seen or approached, call UNFPD via 911 or (904) 620-2800 Image courtesy UNFPD

This man is accused of scamming students out of hundreds of dollars. If seen or approached, call UNFPD via 911 or (904) 620-2800

This man is accused of scamming students out of hundreds of dollars. If seen or approached, call UNFPD via 911 or (904) 620-2800 Image courtesy UNFPD

A student was allegedly robbed of $380 in an on-campus scam on Feb. 15.

According to police, the scamming operation may be a group or an individual selling magazines, books, or other products. A maroon van of unknown make may be involved in the scamming operation.

A student with the on-campus transition program was approached by an unknown man who asked him to donate to a program that provides books to students on campus. The man walked the student to the SunTrust ATM in Building 8, where the student withdrew $280.

Two minutes later, the student withdrew $100 from the same ATM before giving the money to the suspect.

“I’m upset by it. It made me feel uncomfortable,” said the student.

The University of North Florida Police Department (UNFPD) suspects there are several scammers that rotate their positions on campus.

A second UNF student was approached by the suspect who he described as a black male in his early twenties, claiming to be an engineering student. The witness reported a second suspect as a heavier black male in his late twenties with gold teeth.

In the second incident, the suspects claimed to be selling books for donation to local children’s hospitals, stating that they needed a certain number of points to receive Florida Bright Futures Scholarships.

Deputy Director of Communications for the Florida Department of Education Cheryl Etters stated in an email to Spinnaker that the Department of Education does not collect money or hold fundraisers for state scholarship and grant programs authorized by the Florida Legislature..

UNFPD Deputy Sergeant Mark Milton advises students who have a suspicious interaction to call UNFPD immediately. “If you feel odd about a situation, don’t hesitate to call us,” said Milton. “Don’t worry about offending anyone, and if it is a false alarm, it is still OK.”

Con artists will try to become your friend by using complements, jokes, or any method to break down your defenses stated Milton. Scammers are usually described as being charismatic and persuasive.

If you have any information or recognize the individual pictured, please contact UNFPD at 904-620-2800.

 

Editor’s note: The Spinnaker does not typically name victims of crime, and in this instance omitted them for the safety of the victims.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact managingeditor@unfspinnaker.com

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Police asking for help in identifying alleged campus scammers