Police Blotter

Phishing scam and found property of two UW-Eau Claire students keep university police in motion


Online fraud reported to campus police

At 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 20, an officer received a call about a student who may have been a victim of a phishing scam. The student had informed the officer that on Dec. 21, 2020, there was an email sent to her, regarding a remote job offer that would pay $250 a week.

The email had come from what looked like a professor from the university, but officers were suspicious when finding an ‘@gmail.com’ attached to the end of the professor’s university email. 

The person who sent the phishing email asked for a full name, cell number and alternate email if they were interested. The student then, on Dec. 29, 2020, replied to the email and gave all the information requested by the sender. All emails were then forwarded to the police on a later date. 

The emailer had advised the student to research products in stores and submit a report back.  After submitting the first report, the student received additional emails and text messages requesting additional work.  

The attached email that was given to the police showed the emailer requested research on personal protective equipment products in stores. 

Eleven items were listed, including instructions to buy a $250 OneVanilla prepaid card at a Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS or Dollar General store. The email indicates that the student would be reimbursed for the purchase of the gift card in their first paycheck. 

The student then had gotten a check over email and was told to deposit it directly into their bank account electronically. The student did what was instructed and processed the check into their account.

A short time after the deposit, the student was notified that their bank account was frozen due to a fraudulent check that was placed into the account. 

The UW-Eau Claire website shows a professor by the same name and email that contacted the student. The police then attempted to contact the professor and left a voicemail to let them know about the phishing scam using their identity. 

No other information is available at this time.

Found property — owner found

At approximately 10:40 p.m. on Jan. 25, an officer was contacted on the primary squad cell phone by a UW-Eau Claire custodian.

The caller told the officer that he had located a maroon or pink wallet within the second floor hallway at the Haas Fine Arts Center and told the officer that he had not opened the wallet.

Officers came to meet the custodian in the front entrance of the building. 

Upon arrival, they met near the main entrance to the Haas Fine Arts Center, where the officer was told that when done cleaning on the second floor, the custodian located a maroon/pink wallet. Again, the officer was advised that the wallet was not opened. 

The officer thanked the custodian for the call and cleared from the Haas Fine Arts Center.

After clearing the scene, the officer opened the wallet and observed a Wisconsin driver’s license, which was issued to a woman. 

They observed a Blugold identification card along with several credit cards, which had her name listed as the owner. The officer also observed cash located within a sleeve of the wallet.

From there, the officer conducted a records check within CampS where a phone number and local address were located. The officer called the woman about the found property and both parties agreed to meet to return the wallet at her home.

Upon arrival, the officer returned the wallet after the woman verified nothing was taken out of the wallet and then was asked to sign a UW-Eau Claire Police Department Property Receipt. 

The duration of this case was recorded in two segments, utilizing a department issued body worn camera. The first recorded segment was of the contact with the custodian, and the second recorded segment was the contact with the woman. 

Face Masks were worn during all in-person interactions.

No further information is available at this time.

Huettner can be contacted at [email protected].