'Work from home' email scammers targeting CU students

BOULDER, Colo. - Scammers are targeting University of Colorado students with "work from home" scams, the school's police department reports.

So far, one student has lost almost $6,000 to the scam.

According to CU Police Department spokesman Ryan Huff, the student accepted the "job" offered through an email. The "employer" sent her two checks totaling $6,640 and ordered her to deposit the money into a personal account. From there, the student was told to send money orders for a total of $5,960 to an address in California.

"The 'employer's' checks did not clear, but the victim’s money orders went through – leading to a loss of $5,960," Huff wrote.

A second student was also contacted through a similar email promising $300 for just five hours of work each week, Huff said. The email said a Cyprus-based company needed people to order and process supplies.

The student was sent a $2,900 check with instructions to deposit the check, subtract her salary and send the remaining money to a "supplier."

Huff said that student became suspicious and reported the incident to police before losing any money.

"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," Huff wrote, adding that these scams are a Class 4 felony.

CU Police Cmdr. Robert Axmacher says these two examples happened during 2012, but the department has seen others as recently as last week.

The CU Police and The Internet Crime Complaint Center also offered 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.

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