Published: Oct. 18, 2012

Contact: Ryan Huff, Communications Manager, Police Department 303-492-7581 / ryan.huff@colorado.edu

The University of Colorado Police Department has received multiple reports of e-mail scams targeting CU students. 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 work per week. The e-mail stated that a Cyprus-based company offering “business consultancy services” needed regional representatives to help order and process office supplies. A later e-mail said that a $300 salary would be “pre-paid” and arriving in the form of a $2,900 check from a “client.” The student was instructed to deduct her $300 salary and pay the “supplier” the remaining amount. The student became suspicious and reported the incident to CU Police. She did not lose any funds.

These scams constitute fraud, a Class 4 felony. CU Police want to remind the campus community and the public at large that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 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 atwww.ic3.gov. 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.