By Katie Porter
An unknown male prohibited from being on campus collected money and credit card information from people at Santiago Canyon College last month, officials said.
He was posing as an ASG member selling fundraiser tickets, despite being banned for doing the same thing earlier this year.
“Basically he was a ticket scalper attempting to sell tickets. He was trying to make a buck in the wrong place and way,” Interim District Safety and Security Supervisor Alistair Winter said.
While the tickets he was selling to an event at an L.A. comedy club were legitimate, they had nothing to do with ASG.
A district safety alert was sent out Oct 28. After the notice was circulated, staff and faculty at many other Southern California colleges reported seeing the man use the same tactic on their campuses.
So far, he has been sighted at Cal State Fullerton, College of the Canyons, L.A. Harbor and West L.A. Community College, where he was detained by deputies and cited for trespassing Oct. 30.
In the spring he was issued a trespass notice at SCC. If caught violating the order again, he will be arrested for trespassing, Winter said.
Walk-on vendors are prohibited on campus. Those interested must file paperwork with the Student Business Office and pay a fee, Associate Dean of Student Development Loy Nashua said.
“You have to fill out forms saying you are selling X and expecting to yield Y and doing Z with it, bring back receipts and all the accompanying paperwork. He didn’t do any of that,” Nashua said.
The quad area and walkways at Santa Ana College are often littered with people petitioning students to vote, donate to an organization or learn about a religion. It can be hard to distinguish scammers from legitimate vendors.
“He’s getting people where they’re most vulnerable because they want to support the school. That’s why he’s representing himself fraudulently,” Nashua said.
Students told about the incident said they would be wary if someone tried selling them something on campus.
“I’m not going to buy anything, no matter how convincing they are. I always feel like they’re ripping you off,” sophomore Maria Alvarez said.
Tyler Nguyen, a student at SAC and SCC, said economics professor Alex Taber warned his class about the scalper, who interrupted Taber’s lecture last spring, asking to give a short presentation. He spotted the man last month and reported him.
“I saw him walking down the hall and go into a classroom so I followed. I watched him at the front and when the class was over I approached the instructor and he left quickly,” Taber said.
Winter said there have been no reports of the scalper at Santa Ana College but encouraged students to report any sightings to security officials.
“We are relying on students and staff as our eyes and ears,” Winter said.