CU Police warn of ‘work from home’ scammers defrauding CU students

The University of Colorado Police Department has received multiple reports of e-mail scams targeting CU students. If an online “employer” promises a pre-paid salary in the form of a high-dollar check, but then asks you to send a money order back for the balance, it is a scam!

In a case from earlier this month, a student received an e-mail offering her a part-time work-from-home job. She received two checks from her “employer” that totaled $6,640. The student was instructed to deposit the checks into her personal account and then forward money orders (using her own funds) to an address in California for a total amount of $5,960. The “employer’s” checks did not clear, but the victim’s money orders went through – leading to a loss of $5,960.

In another recent example, a student received a similar job advertisement via e-mail, promising $300 for just five hours of “business consultancy services” work per week. When the student received a $2,900 check and was asked to send back $2,600, she became suspicious and contacted CU Police.

CU Police and The Internet Crime Complaint Center offer the following tips:

  • Be cautious if an online/e-mail job posting claims “no experience necessary.”
  • Be cautious of exaggerated claims of possible earnings or profits.
  • Beware when money is required up front for instructions or products.
  • Do not give your Social Security number when first interacting with your prospective employer.
  • Be wary when replying to unsolicited e-mails for work-at-home employment.
  • Research the company to ensure it is authentic.

For more Internet crime prevention tips, see the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) website at www.ic3.gov. Also, please see the Office of Information Technology’s page on scams and how to avoid being a victim of phishing: http://oit.colorado.edu/node/8957. If you have questions about a potential scam or think you are a victim of fraud, please contact the CU Police Department at 303-492-8168. For crime alerts and more, see CU Police’s social media sites at www.twitter.com/cuboulderpolice and www.facebook.com/cuboulderpolice.

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