URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — University of Illinois Police said a man was scammed out of $5,000 in the summer during an Internet-based scam.
Officials said the victim was searching online for a loan in August and found a website for this purpose. He provided his personal and banking information to the website, which promised to deposit funds into his checking account. After the funds were supposedly deposited, the victim was asked to send back a portion of those funds in cryptocurrency, which the victim did in four transactions.
The victim later discovered that the funds were not deposited and that someone had used his identity to make fabricated fraud claims on his checking account. When the bank discovered this, they reversed the fraud claims, but the victim’s account became overdrawn by $5,000.
While the UIPD reports scams regularly, this one is different in that it did not involve direct contact between the scammer and the victim, nor did it involve contact that was initiated by the scammer. The vast majority of scams the UIPD reports involves the victim being contacted by someone claiming to be, among other things, their employer, foreign law enforcement and personnel from a foreign embassy and presenting a number of claims. Additionally, this scam happened over the Internet instead of through a phone call, text or social media.