Beware of disaster scams
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) reminds faculty, staff and students to be aware of scams disguised as assistance for hurricane relief efforts. E-mail scams have hit University accounts and include links to organizations purporting to be collecting money or other resources, but instead are phishing expeditions to rip-off recipients. Other scams include false donation or collection drives that never make it to the intended beneficiaries.
DPS encourages people who want to make donations to do so in person at recognized agencies, such as the American Red Cross, or by visiting their Web sites directly, not by clicking on embedded links in unknown e-mails.
Other safety tips include: don't provide personal information to any requestor, such as social security numbers, account numbersor personal identification numbers, unless it is a business transaction you have initiatedand regularly review bank statements to monitor for unauthorized withdrawals. If unauthorized account activity occurs, immediately contact the police.
Three burglaries reported, one results in stolen tools
Three burglaries were reported to DPS in August resulting in a loss of tools and other equipment from one site. Reports from two sitesthe School of Education Building on Aug. 12 and West Quadrangle on Aug. 24indicated nothing was missing, though a door and window screens had been damaged.
At Peach Mountain Observatory near Dexter, staff reported Aug. 1 that a barbed-wire fence had been cut and approximately $1,500 worth of tools and equipment was missing. Additionally, approximately $1,000 worth of damage had been done to equipment.
DPS continues to investigate each incident.
Man awaits trial for November robbery
A 19-year-old Belleville man is scheduled to go on trial in U.S. District Court Sept. 13 in connection with a November robbery in the Church Street parking structure. Christopher Gamache has been charged with five counts of assault and battery and three counts of larceny. He is accused of stealing money and personal items from five teenagers around 11 p.m. Nov. 6 after he and two other assailants punched or kicked the victims. Gamache is not affiliated with the University.
Patient reports assault
A 55-year-old University Hospital patient reported Aug. 9 that she had been sexually assaulted during her hospitalization. The initial investigation by DPS officers revealed she had undergone a medical procedure.
Couch burned in Thompson Street lot
A University Housing security officer extinguished a burning couch that had been abandoned and set aflame in the surface parking lot on Thompson Street. No other damage occurred in connection with the Aug. 14 arson.