Suspect scams individuals by using their phone

Los Rios Police Chief Larry Savidge said that a crime where a scammer approached individuals and asked to borrow their cell phones to steal money is currently being investigated.

A crime bulletin sent to students stated that once an individual hands over their phone, the suspect takes money from a Venmo or related account before sending it to another account. The individuals were approached on the Cosumnes River College campus as well as the Sacramento City College campus from Oct. 16 to Oct. 18. 

Karlie Belt, a 17-year-old radio, television and film major, said she wasn’t aware someone could pull a scam like that. 

“I haven’t been a victim but I think it’s really crazy that people are doing that,” said Belt. “I don’t even know if I would give my phone to someone, especially if they walk up to me and not look like they are in need of calling someone.” 

Belt said she hasn’t seen this actually happen to another student, but she personally tends to not trust strangers on campus. 

Allison Vogt, an 18-year-old building inspection technology major, said that while she has not been one of the individuals affected by the scam, she’s not surprised by it.  

“I think that it’s mean to have someone put their trust in you and then you betray them like that,” said Vogt.

Vogt said she thinks it is important for people to be aware of this scam and that people should be on their guard.  

Savidge said that they are unsure of which specific campus the potential victims were approached on.

“Since we put the bulletin out, we’ve had several potential victims come forward,” said Savidge. “I don’t know how much money was stolen; it is an undisclosed amount.” 

Ultimately, Savidge said that students shouldn’t let strangers use their phones. 

“Do not give access to your personal phone and once you move to a safe location to call Los Rios police,” said Savidge. “Make sure to remember the description of the person who approached you so you can describe them to us.”