Police Blotter

Slippery conditions over the phone and on the road


Photo by Submitted

The following information was obtained from UW-Eau Claire Police Department records.

Phone Fraud

At about 4:23 p.m. on Feb. 9, an officer was notified about a case of a telephone/online fraud scheme. The officer spoke with the male victim of the fraud at about 4:45 p.m.

The victim stated that he had purchased $1,000 worth of gift cards and given the authorization codes to a person over the phone. He said he believed this person was assisting him in fixing a virus on his computer. The victim reported that this call occurred on Feb. 9 between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The victim explained how, after attempting to write a report with his computer, his screen froze and reported a virus on the computer. The victim called the number on the computer screen, labeled as virus removal, assuming it was Apple Support.

The call duration lasted about two and a half hours, during which time the victim gave permission to the unknown male subject on the other end of the line to his computer, and agreed to the subject’s required payment method for removing the virus.

The subject had the victim walk to Walgreens to purchase a $500 Google Play gift card while still on the phone, and requested that the victim buy additional gift cards. After being denied the attempt to buy more gift cards at Walgreens, the victim walked to Shopko and was unsuccessful.

The victim returned to Walgreens and bought three Apple Store gift cards; one of $100 and two of $200. This entire process was also conducted while the victim remained on the phone with the subject.

The subject requested the gift card authorization codes over the telephone for payment immediately, promising the victim that Apple would reimburse the $1,000 while giving an additional $100 later on for his time. The victim, believing this to be a legitimate form of payment, cooperated.

After removing the virus from the computer, the subject ended the call. The victim contacted his parents, who informed him that he had been involved in a scam. The victim attempted to call back the phone number of the subject, who hung up and refused to accept any further calls made by the victim.

The victim checked his bank account at a later date to see if the reimbursement had gone through, to no avail. In an effort to avoid any remote access to his accounts, the victim froze his checking account in case the subject managed to access any financial documents on the computer that the victim was unaware of.

The gift cards were turned into the campus police, and the victim was given a victim information form and a business card with the case number on it. After his questions were answered, he left the police department.

Crash in Oak Ridge lot

A female subject reported to an officer that she was involved in a crash in the Oak Ridge lot at about 12:05 p.m. with another vehicle. Both drivers were valid to drive.

After the crash occurred, the subject and the other driver exchanged information, with the subject agreeing to file a report. While the subject’s car did have damage, the other driver’s vehicle sustained no damage, as the subject’s car had struck the spare tire on the back of the other driver’s vehicle.

The subject reported that she had been traveling southbound in the Oak Ridge lot when the other driver backed out of her parking stall. Due to the snow pile behind her car, the other driver had to accelerate more than normal to make it over the pile. When the driver backed up, she then collided with the subject’s vehicle.

The officer called the driver and confirmed the subject’s story, as well as confirming that her vehicle sustained no damage. Both the subject and the driver were given the case number and the officer’s contact information.

Spierings can be reached at [email protected]