CU police warn students of ‘work from home’ email scams

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BOULDER — University of Colorado Police are warning students of “work from home” email scams that have been targeting students since last year.

CU Boulder Police sent out information warning college students of the scams back in October 2012, but indicated that they have been seeing more reports of the work from home emails at the beginning of this school year.

According to Ryan Huff, spokesperson with CU Police, one student lost nearly $6,000 after she received an email offering her a part-time job working from home.

The female student received two checks from her “employer” totaling $6,640, and was instructed to deposit the checks into her personal account. She was then told to forward her own money to an address in California for a total amount of $5,960.

According to CU police, the “employer’s” checks didn’t go through, but the victim’s money orders did, leading to a loss of $5,960.

Another student received a similar job advertisement and became suspicious of an email promising $300 for just five hours of work per week. The email read that a Cyprus-based company needed representatives to order and process office supplies.

The student was later sent another email stating that a $300 salary would be “pre-paid” and arriving in the form of a $2,900 check from a “client.” She was instructed to deduct her $300 salary and pay the “supplier” the remaining amount, according to the email.

The student reported the incident to CU police and did not lose any money.

Police are reminding students of the fraudulent emails, and said that if a “deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

CU Police and The Internet Crime Complaint Center are offering 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.

If you have questions about a potential scam or think you are a victim of fraud, you are asked to contact the CU Police Department at (303) 492-8168.