New Britain

Connecticut College Students Alerted About COVID-19 Fund Scam

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There is a warning that students could be scammed out of cash after falling for a fake claim they could be eligible for COVID relief funds.

On Facebook, Central Connecticut Police alerted about a scam that it reports at least one university student in the state has already fallen victim to.

CCSU says they haven’t had a case of this scam there, but they want their students to be aware of it.

According to police, someone receives an email saying there is money for school from a COVID relief fund. After they apply, they receive a check and deposit it into their account.

But that’s when they receive another email saying there was a mistake and they actually need to return the cash. After the victim sends the money back, the check actually bounces and the person is out the cash.

Police say this is a common scam with different organizations and causes being used as fronts.

With many students forking over big bucks for college, an offer of help might be welcomed.

“Definitely, got to pay those students loans. So tempting,” said Malique Thompson, CCSU freshman.

And it’s another reason why parents hope their kids are cautious.

“I’m always telling my son to be careful with all those scams and credit cards and all that stuff because they go after the college students,” said Leslie Thompson of Hartford.

In fact, the Better Business Bureau reports that people age 20 to 29 are the most likely age group to fall victim to a fake check scam because they don’t really use them.

“If you've got any questions or concerns about a check like this, you should wait 30 days to take the money out,” said Kristen Johnson, BBB director of communications.

Johnson hopes people avoid getting to that point by suggesting to always have your guard up.

“If you receive an email or text message, or even a phone call from a government agency offering free money or a free grant program, you should be suspicious. Typically, the government will not use these methods of communication, especially to hand out free money,” Johnson said.

If you receive an offer out of the blue, search for the organization online, give them a call and see if the deal is legit.

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