Identity fraud strikes Lindell Library


Over the last couple weeks, students who had gone to the Lindell Library to check out a laptop in order to study or do their homework were probably discouraged to discover that there were none to be borrowed. There were only a few laptops available for use to Augsburg students, certainly not enough to cater to student demand.

However, due to recent events, this wasn’t simply an inventory issue. The lack of devices was credited to the criminal theft of student IDs. The thievery plot began in the Christensen Center cafeteria.

During long rushes, usually taking place during the lunch or dinner hours, students tend to leave their ID at the cashier station while the cashier helps serve food with their colleagues. Once it calms down, the cashier on duty scans the cards left at their station. After students have picked up their food, they return to retrieve their ID. This is a common practice which helps ease the chaos of a large volume of students entering the cafeteria at one time.

Lately, this method proved faulty as one student took it upon themselves to snatch the unattended IDs left by unsuspecting students and use them for personal gain.

Enter Lindell Library. Said student used the victims’ stolen IDs to check out laptops from the library’s circulation desk, and they were never seen again. Three Macs and one PC computer were checked out using the stolen IDs. The fate of the missing laptops remains unknown. Since then, the student has been caught and expelled.

“This could very well happen again,” said Maddie Johnson, Librarian. “Even though this particular student was expelled, don’t leave your ID unattended. Ever.”

The students victimized weren’t charged any overdue fees, and the fees were removed from the accounts under which the laptops were stolen. They have also been issued new IDs. Librarians are now using extreme caution when dealing with student identification to avoid a similar situation happening in the future. Students who have the time in their schedule might consider visiting the cafeteria during nonrush hours to avoid leaving their ID at an empty cashier station.

Augsburg is small campus. We usually see the same faces every day. With that comes a feeling of community which unfortunately oftentimes creates a false sense of security. Although going to a small school doesn’t carry quite the same risks as attending a monolith like the University of Minnesota, one should be extremely careful about leaving their belongings unattended.

*Featured photo by Jim Pfeffer

This article first appeared in the Friday, November 10, 2017, Edition of The Echo.