The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Department cited and released the individual responsible for several fraud incidents on campus, where he borrowed students’ phones to transfer himself money.
The six related cases of fraud happened on Feb. 25, 26, 28 and March 2, four occurring at Love Library South, one occurring at the Nebraska Union and one at Howard L. Hawks Hall.
Deondre White, a 26-year-old man, was responsible for the six cases of fraud, according to Marty Fehringer, assistant chief of police at UNLPD. White was cited and released for unauthorized use of a financial transaction device, and he was banned and barred from UNL’s campus, according to Sgt. Margot Nason.
Several students at UNL let White borrow their phone to make a phone call, but he then transferred money to himself through a money transfer app, according to UNLPD’s Daily Crime & Fire Log.
Fehringer said UNLPD officers determined that the cases were related because the actions of the non-affiliate were the same in each case. Also, Fehringer said the cases had the same locations, similar descriptions of the non-affiliate and some students had taken photos of the individual.
UNLPD officers determined White was responsible through a combination of investigative techniques, such as using the photographs that the students were able to take and witnesses who identified White once UNLPD was able to come up with the suspect, according to Fehringer.
Fehringer said in one of the cases, the student was able to stop the transaction, but he is not aware of anyone that is being reimbursed of their money.
Fehringer said students should be cautious whenever they give their phone to someone they do not know since there is personal information on people’s phones, especially if they have financial apps.
Both iPhones and Androids have either software installed on the phone already or apps students can download that can help them add more protection to their information, like requiring a fingerprint, Face ID or passcode in order to be able to access different apps on their phone, according to Fehringer.
“I think it's just taking that little bit of time to see you know where you're vulnerable and then finding a solution to be able to make yourself a little bit harder to target,” Fehringer said.