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Scam Targets College Students Looking For Work

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CBS4's Jennifer Brice talks with scam victim Taylor Poyfair (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Jennifer Brice talks with scam victim Taylor Poyfair (credit: CBS)

BOULDER (CBS4) – There’s a new scam that targets college students looking for work.

With so many people looking for work it’s an opportunity that could be easy to fall for. University of Colorado students are being targeted through their school email. A Cyprus-based company says it’s offering “business consultancy services” and needs regional representatives to help. But police are saying beware.

“The email said ‘looking for people to employ, $300 a week, five hours a week,’ ” scam victim Taylor Poyfair said.

It sounded enticing so Poyfair, a CU student, responded. It said she could work from home ordering and processing office supplies.

“He sent me a check and I opened it. It was for $2,900 dollars,” Poyfair said. “But the signature didn’t match the name on the top of the check, and neither of those names matched the name that was emailing me or the return address on the package.”

CU’s police department has received reports of the email scams targeting students. In one case a student got bilked $6,000.

“What this employer will do is send a check, say that you’re prepaid for your first part of the salary for high dollar amounts, $3,000, and say just subtract out your $300 weekly salary amount and mail me back a money order for the rest,” Ryan Huff with CU police said.

Police are also working with UPS, who has received at least nine packages through their service center in Boulder that are now part of the investigation.

Poyfair says red flags prevented her from cashing the check. Instead, she went to police and thankfully didn’t loose any money.

“The bottom line here, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Huff said.

The best advice from police is to be cautious of any job posting claiming “no experience necessary” and when money is required up front. Research the company before getting involved and check with the Better Business Bureau.

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