URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — University of Illinois Police said that a student was scammed out of $100 earlier this month when a dinner date failed to show up.

In its scam log, the UIPD said the student met a woman online and they arranged a date at a restaurant. While waiting at the restaurant, the student received a text from the woman saying she needed help paying for a babysitter. The student sent electronic gift cards to the woman, but she never showed up.

Along with a list of scams reported to them, the UIPD also names several red flags signs that a request or demand may be a scam:

  • No government official (including police officers, immigration officials and tax agents) will ever demand money over the phone
  • Scammers try to intimidate victims with empty threats of arrest or deportation
  • Scammers will often demand payment in the form of something other than cash, like gift cards or virtual currency
  • To avoid banks becoming suspicious, scammers will sometimes direct victims to visit a series of banks to withdraw cash in small portions that eventually add up
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers of legitimate agencies (as was the case in last week’s scam)

People who receive a call or text containing one or several of these red flags are encouraged to hang up immediately and call police. The 24-hour non-emergency number for the UIPD is 217-333-1216.