Parkland officials worried about men posing as students

Parkland officials worried about men posing as students

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College officials say they're worried that area residents might be bilked by two young men posing as Parkland students.

"They're going door-to-door soliciting money for Parkland, saying they're trying to raise the other half of the money they need to study abroad," said Public Safety Director Von Young. "They're two white, college-age males who are well groomed, and one might be carrying a backpack," Young said. "They have nothing identifying them as Parkland students. They're not selling anything. They're just going from door to door begging.

"Parkland doesn't solicit door-to-door," Young said. "The college never has, and the way it looks, it never will."

He said the two homeowners who reported the incidents, both in southwest Champaign, were senior citizens, so he's worried that the men might be preying on older residents. He's also worried that other residents may have given them money and not reported the incidents.

Young said anyone approached by the men should, first of all, never let them in their house. He suggested asking them for identification, including the permit the city requires solicitors to carry. And they should report the incidents to local law enforcement agencies, Young said.

People soliciting without a license are subject to fines, he said.

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