Student reports grant-related telephone scam

Matthew Gruchow

University police are investigating a phone scam on campus that was reported by one student Jan. 20.

The student told police a caller phoned his residence hall room and told him he had won a $25,000 government grant, according to the police report.

The caller claimed to be from the “Government Grant Information Center” and told the student that to claim his grant, he had to send $257 to the company.

According to the report, the caller phoned the student 10 or 11 times in two days and requested his bank account information.

“The victim feels that whoever was doing this got the number from the University staff directory,” said Chuck Miner, a University police lieutenant.

The student closed his account after the attempted scam, Miner said.

This sort of grant-related scam is a rarity, he said.

“This type is very uncommon,” Miner said. “Most of the ones reported to us are Internet-based ones.”

Students should not give out personal or financial information over the phone, Miner said.

Some warnings of a potential scam include being asked to send money to claim a grant or prize and not being given a number to call to claim it, he said.

Building vandalism

On Wednesday, sexually derogatory graffiti was found on a wall of the first floor of Bailey Hall, according to a police report.

No suspect information was available at the time of the report.

“Housing has decided to handle this internally,” Miner said. “They may know who is responsible. It sounds like they’ve got most of the graffiti cleaned up.”

The graffiti was not gang-related or racially motivated, Miner said.

“Whoever was doing it probably knew some of the people that he or she was putting it on,” Miner said.

Approximately $200 in damage was done, he said.

Bookstore theft

On Friday, University police issued a 19-year-old male student a ticket for theft. He left the bookstore in Coffman Union without paying for a book, according to the police report.

A manager chased the student and escorted him back to store security, the report said.

Police issued the man a trespass warning, which prohibits the student from entering East Bank buildings until late February, according to the report.