Indiana Daily Student

Credit card case evolves

Four solicitors tossed off campus; IUPD continues to probe

California resident Ron Jenkins and three others were thrown off campus after illegally soliciting personal information from IU students Thursday.\nPlain-clothed IUPD officers approached a group of three men and one woman who were collecting credit card applications between the Indiana Memorial Union and Maxwell Hall. \nTwo of the four were connected to a report filed by an IU student last week that suggested her personal information might have been stolen, police said.\nPolice have no proof to suggest the group has stolen the identity of any IU students, said IUPD Lt. Jerry Minger. The group was not charged with a crime, but did mislead its intentions to students, Minger said. \n"They were misrepresenting themselves to the people they were getting information from," Minger said. "We were told by the company that they sometimes work for that they do campaigns, but this particular company said they had nothing going on in this area."\nGreg McClure, the IUPD detective in charge of the case, would not release the name of the Indianapolis-based advertising company the group said it was working for. \nJenkins, one of the four asked to leave campus, said he worked for R & J Professional Promotions. The IDS could not confirm the existence of a company by that name.\nJenkins said his group was not in Bloomington to fraudulently obtain students' personal information, including Social Security numbers.\n"We're not giving out fake information," said Jenkins, walking past the Student Building away from campus. "And we're not stealing numbers. We're legit.\n"We're here to help students get some credit. And we'll be back on Monday."\nIf Jenkins returns without permission, he'll be arrested, Minger said. Jenkins must clear his group's solicitation through the Student Activities Office.\nThe police responded after concerned students read Wednesday's IDS, which outlined the original report, and called and said people were soliciting credit card applications, Minger said.\n"We had originally got a call by people who saw your article, and in fact we had several calls within 15 minutes all saying the same," Minger said. "It's still under that investigation, but we did learn they were not authorized to be on campus. If they come back and do the same kinds of things, they will be arrested."\nAfter Wednesday's initial report, students e-mailed and phoned IUPD and the IDS conveying fears about giving information to a group claiming they were with Bank of America. The group asked to leave campus Thursday also claimed to be with Bank of America, Minger said.\nJunior Sarah Brown said a group of two males approached her by the Health, Physical Education and Recreation building a few weeks ago.\n"They led me to believe they were through some fraternity," Brown said. "We were just assuming they were one of the tables.\n"I usually never do that kind of stuff," she said.\nMcClure advises students who have filled out credit card applications to be cautious, but is hesitant to call the case identity theft.\n"The general attitude today for most investigators is that you should at very minimum check your credit reports every year," he said. "And if you suspect anything, check the reports every six months. It's not done as often as people might think it is. And in this situation here, we know they misrepresented who they were associated with, but we don't if it was used illegally in the end project."\nMcClure and Minger also suggested worried students contact a credit agency, which manage credit reports. The companies red flag card applicants, prohibiting identity theft through credit fraud.\nMcClure said he plans to visit the Indianapolis-based advertising company Friday.\n"College students are prime targets for credit card companies, and many other things," McClure said. "We're past now the people that were collecting information. Now we're tracking where this went and for what purpose"

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