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Suspicious white van on FAMU's campus was trying to get students to deposit fraudulent checks

Posted at 5:26 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 17:26:28-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — We're learning more about the suspicious activity that caught attention on Florida A&M University's campus over the weekend.

People inside a white van were reportedly trying to recruit students to participate in illegal activity.

Now, FAMU's Chief of Police says he's using every form of communication available to keep students safe.

When FAMU Chief of Police Terence Calloway learned about the white van driving around campus, he didn't waste any time.

He sent a text warning to all students, faculty and staff. Later, he found out those in the van were trying to get students to deposit fraudulent checks.

"Say if a student has 200 dollars in their bank account and these people will come up and say, 'Hey, I have this thousand dollar check. If you deposit it into your account, just give me 200 dollars and you can keep the rest of it,'" said Calloway.

For a cash-strapped student, the offer may sound appealing, but it's just a con to steal their money.

Calloway says students have to be careful if they are ever approached by anyone.

"Walk away from the person. Make your voice loud so you bring more attention to yourself. Get a description of the vehicle and a license plate number," said Calloway.

Every student we spoke to said they received Sunday's FAMU Alert and it made them feel safe.

"I thought it was helpful because that same night I was going out, so it helped me to know to be extra careful and what to look out for specifically instead of just looking out for random stuff," said Cenai Dugue, a freshman at FAMU.

FAMU PD is gathering more information on the van and will use the new campus security features like 360 degree cameras to identify it. In the meantime, heightened awareness is key because there will always be predators.

"My biggest thing to students is what appears to be appealing may not be appealing and everything that glitters isn't gold so be careful with what you are doing and your interactions with people," said Calloway.

FAMU has a free Live Safe personal safety mobile app available for download. On it, people can report things anonymously to FAMU safety officials.

If anyone has any information about that van or any other suspicious activity, please call FAMU PD at 850-599-3256.