University Police are warning the campus community of fraudulent solicitation attempts in some southeast Michigan neighborhoods.

Solicitors pretended to be University students who needed money for class trips, University Police said. Some said they were part of the Communications Department, while others said that they were from the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

University Police Chief Joseph Piersante said it’s very unlikely that the people going door-to-door are legitimate University students. He said the University rarely, if ever, uses door-to-door fundraising methods.

The most common methods for University fundraising are alumni outreach or mailings. If University affiliates do go door-to-door, they are required to provide legitimate University identification and information for a contact for follow up.

The first report, which came to University Police on Aug. 28, said people who claimed to be University students were soliciting funds for an overseas trip to London.

A second instance of soliciting was reported on Sept. 8. This time, the solicitors were attempting to sell magazine subscriptions in order to fund a Communications Department trip.

“I don’t know if that’s a coincidence or what,” Piersante said. “But these scams aren’t unusual. In this particular case (scammers) are targeting the University.”

While these particular solicitations were door-to-door, Piersante said that both door-to-door and phone solicitors often try to raise money for charity groups they say benefit veterans or police survivors.

Police are not currently aware whether or not these solicitors have been successful in raising any money, and Piersante said the police don’t know for sure why this area was targeted.

Piersante said they have a description of one solicitor and are working with the local police department in the targeted area to identify the suspect.

“If this continues to happen, we can work with local police departments to get communication out if we see a pattern in a geographical area,” Piersante said.

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