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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Campus magazine scammer arrested

UAPD officers have arrested a man who was conducting a magazine-selling scam on campus, and the department advises students to beware of similar situations in the future.

The man was telling individuals on campus that the more magazines he sells, the more points he receives to win a scholarship.

“In this fraudulent scheme, an individual approaches and claims to be selling magazine subscriptions in an effort to win a contest,” said Jose Bermudez, crime prevention officer at University of Arizona Police Department. “The individual encourages the purchase by explaining that the customer need not keep the subscriptions, as the seller will receive credit for the sale even if the order is later canceled.”

The “customer” was required to pay him in cash and a “receipt” was provided to each victim, as well as a phone number in case the customer wanted to cancel the order. The phone number, however, was fake.

On Feb. 9, UAPD officers found and arrested the man on campus. Because the investigation is ongoing, UAPD has not released his name.

Bermudez still advises students to be skeptical, and to never give any personal information or money to a stranger without properly verifying the other party’s identity. There are resources a student can use such as the Better Business Bureau to check the legitimacy of the business, Bermudez said.

Laura Cohen, a senior studying English, was approached by the man near the Center for Creative Photography.

“I didn’t realize it was a scam, but the whole thing was fishy,” Cohen said. “The magazines were very overpriced and it didn’t make sense that we would only be able to pay in cash.”

Cohen said she felt she was probably targeted because she was sitting alone. The man came over to her and “started making small talk,” she said. He then tried to sell her the magazines.

“I guess you have to always be careful in these situations. If I wasn’t a poor college student and he was actually selling something useful to me, I may have fallen for the scam,” Cohen said.

Bermudez said to always call 911 if a “similar suspicious person” approaches.

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