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ATM Scams in Rogers Park Have Targeted Students

Conor Merrick | The PhoenixSome students have reported scams involving ATMs near campus.

Students have reported scams involving ATMs in the Rogers Park neighborhood, officials said.

Loyola sophomore Ian Christoferson said he was walking back to campus with a friend from the Edgewater Library (6000 N. Broadway) about three weeks ago when he was approached by a woman. The library is about a half-mile from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.

“I was on the corner of Granville and Broadway,” the secondary education and English major said. “At the crosswalk, a lady came up to us asking for money for a bus ticket.”

The woman had a black eye and an arm in a sling, and said she had just gotten out of an abusive relationship, Christoferson said.

Christoferson and his friend said they didn’t have any cash on them, but the lady suggested they go to a nearby ATM to make a withdrawal, he said. Christoferson declined again and the woman started crying, he said.

Conor MerrickBank of America has an ATM less than a mile from Lake Shore Campus, where some students have been approached by strangers asking for money. Conor Merrick

Incidents similar to this one have been reported happening to students, according to a tweet by Rambler Buzz — a Loyola student-run news and information forum.

“A number of students at area universities, including Loyola, have been approached by individuals near ATMs who are asking for help cashing checks. The individual then scams the student out of money with a fraudulent check,” the tweet said.

Authorities are aware of the incidents and want to make students aware, according to Loyola spokesperson Sarah Howell on behalf of Campus Safety, Loyola’s private police force.

Howell said she couldn’t comment further as it’s an ongoing investigation.

There have been four reports of ATM incidents to Campus Safety, who referred the cases to the Chicago Police Department, according to Campus Safety Admin Commander Tim Cunningham.

Two incidents occurred at the 6400 block of North Sheridan Road, according to Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Jessica Alvarez. The first incident on Sept. 23 involved a 22-year-old man who was approached by three women asking for help cashing a check. He later discovered the check had been fraudulent, Alvarez said.

The second incident happened on Oct. 9, where a woman was approached by a man asking to help cash a money order for him, according to Alvarez. The woman later found out that it was fraudulent, Alvarez said.

Rambler Buzz also tweeted to be alert to strangers and not withdraw money for people you don’t know.

Some students said they were unnerved by the situation.

“We were kind of nervous, but also felt bad [because] it seemed real,” Christoferson said.

Some students said they didn’t know that anything was going on.

Aza Leal, a 19-year-old sophomore studying neuroscience, said she didn’t know about the ATM incidents until The Phoenix brought it to her attention.

“It makes me nervous now,” Leal said.

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