Police warn of COVID-19 relief scam on CT college campuses, one student already victim

On Sunday, Sep. 11, Central Connecticut State University Police Department alerted students to beware of a potential scam telling them they could receive COVID-19 relief funding.

The scam, according to the statement from the police department, told students they could receive an undisclosed amount of money if they applied for relief funding. Students would receive a fraudulent check for "COVID Relief Funding" and then be asked to return the money because of an issue. Once they sent the money back, the fraudulent check from relief funding would not go through and the victim would be out the money.

CCSU PD wrote that students should use extreme caution when it comes to free money or any similar offers. The department also stated that one student in Connecticut had fallen victim to this particular scam, though it did not name the school they attend.

University Spokeswoman for CCSU Janice Palmer said they are "not aware of any cases associated with CCSU students," at this time.

In addition to being weary of these sorts of cash promises, CCSU PD suggests using the university and the police department as resources if there is any doubt around the legitimacy of the source. 

The Federal Trade Commission published four signs that people can check if they feel they are being faced with a scam.

  1. Is the scam pretending it is from an organization you know?
  2. Is there a problem or a prize being offered?
  3. Is there pressure to act immediately?
  4. Is payment to happen in a very specific manner?

To avoid falling victim to scams, the FTC suggests:

  • "Block unwanted calls and text messages.
  • Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect.
  • Resist the pressure to act immediately.
  • Know how scammers tell you to pay.
  • Stop and talk to someone you trust."