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Central Washington University

CWU Warns Students of Nationwide Check Scam

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (January 16, 2013) — Central Washington University is warning its students of a nationwide check scam being reported on campuses nationwide. This particular scam involves the listing of a local job opportunity.

After applying for the job, a student receives an e-mail from the “employer,” who claims to be out of the country but will send the student a monetary advance for work, such as job-related errands, until the employer returns.

A few days later, the student receives a package containing a check. Instructions are given for the student to cash the check, keep a specific amount for the work they are to perform, and return the remainder of the money to an address outside the United States. 

The check will subsequently bounce. So, students not only do not earn any money, they’re out what they returned, plus bank service fees.

Typically, legitimate employers do not pay in advance or require the return of money from a check written to an employee. Any off-campus employment that requires an exchange of money before the job is finalized is likely a scam.

Students believing they have been victimized, or are the target of a scam, should contact CWU Public Safety and Police Services at 963-2959. For questions about the legitimacy of off-campus job postings at the university, contact the Office of Student Financial Services/Work Study Employment at 963-3008.

Media contact: Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1384,

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