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Avoiding "Work From Home" Check Scams

“Work from HOME and earn $300 weekly... the job will only take 1hr of your time daily and it's between Monday and Friday... the job is done at your free time... kindly get back to us ASAP if you care to know more about the job offer.”

The chance to earn $300 a week may sound appealing. But this language above is a real e-mail sent by a fraudster trying to scam a CU-Boulder student. In this case, the student became suspicious and contacted CU Police. Others haven’t been as fortunate. CU students have lost thousands of dollars by falling for these scams. Here’s how it works.

The so-called employer sends you your $300 “pre-paid” salary in the form of a high-dollar amount check. The “employer” asks you to deposit the check and then send back the balance (often thousands of dollars) through a money order. The “employer’s” check later bounces, but the money order goes through – leading to a loss of thousands of dollars for the victim.

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 at www.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.