College students targets of back-to-school flim-flam

BBB explains how back-to-college scams work

A college student reading (Public Domain Photos, Kathrym Bennett, file)
A college student reading (Public Domain Photos, Kathrym Bennett, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — College students seem to always be tight on cash, so an online job posting offering a good paycheck and no experience may be very tempting.

But, the Better Business Bureau said, it could be a scam.

Money (KOIN, file)
Money (KOIN, file)

“How this works is, ” said the BBB’s Stephen Mayer, “you get your first check in the mail and they say, ‘Oh, no, we paid you too much. So deposit that check and send us some cash for the leftover amount.’ What happens is that check ends up bouncing and you’re out that entire check and the cash you sent off.”

Mayer said these jobs often don’t have a physical location and involved online or door-to-door sales.

Stephen Mayer with the Better Business Bureau in Oregon, August 10, 2017 (KOIN)
Stephen Mayer with the Better Business Bureau in Oregon, August 10, 2017 (KOIN)

Another similar scam involves looking for a college roommate online.

“That person will send a first rent check (and then say) ‘Oh, no, can you send me some cash to make up the difference?'” Mayer told KOIN 6 News. “Then the first check bounces, out the money, then you still don’t have a roommate.”

Parents looking to save money for younger students during back-to-school shopping should stick to the list, he said, and consider buying in bulk.

“Coordinate with other parents in class,” he said. “You’re going to need those tissues, hand sanitizers all school year, going to need a lot of those supplies, so buy in bulk save a little bit of money in the long run.”