Nigerian credit card scam hits U bookstores

Rocky Thompson

Police are investigating a string of orders made over the Internet from University Bookstores with stolen credit card numbers.

“We don’t know yet how they’ve gotten the numbers,” said Lt. Chuck Miner of the University Police Department.

The credit cards used came from opposite corners of the nation: New Jersey, Texas and California, according to the police report.

Bob Crabb, University Bookstores’ departmental director, said the store received the inquiry, but it was a clear scam.

“It was an international ring that operates out of Nigeria that is known among retailers,” Crabb said.

He said the bookstore gets these purchases every three or four months and always reports them to the police. The group, he said, doesn’t stick to any specific purchases but rather feels the store out and takes anything it can get. He added that retailers have a listserv where they can share information about this type of scam.

Miner said it will be interesting to see how the account numbers were acquired, adding that it is still an active investigation.

In other police news:

n Police are searching for the individuals who set fire to papers taped to a community adviser’s door in Pioneer Hall early Saturday morning.

University police interviewed people living near the scene and are looking for suspect information, Miner said.

A community adviser’s job in the residence hall puts him or her in a confrontational relationship, Miner said.

n University police cited five people for illegal use of handicapped parking permits. Three students and one staff member received misdemeanor citations. If they forgo court, the payable fine is currently $517.

One student used his mother’s permit to park at a meter for free, according to the police report.

The student told the officer that he must have taken his mother’s permit and “believed” he had one also, according to the report. Police checked with Minnesota’s Driver and Vehicle Services, which indicated the student was never issued a disability permit, according to the report.

n Jay Salinas, a University freshman living in Middlebrook Hall, sustained a concussion and complained of severe head pain after he hit his head on cement while snowboarding on the north side of Ferguson Hall, according to the police report.

Salinas said he saw people sliding down a small hill between Anderson and Ferguson halls on lunch trays and got his snowboard out of his room. After a few successful runs, he said, he caught an edge and fell.

An ambulance transported Salinas to Hennepin County Medical Center. He suffered two fractures nearly wrapping all the way around his head, missing his jugular vein by five millimeters. Salinas said the doctor told him if his fracture had been a little deeper he would have spent the night in a body bag instead of a hospital.

Miner said he is not aware of anything that prohibits snowboarding on campus.

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