Scam Alert for College Students: Beware of Counterfeit-Check "Grant Scam"

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Letters from an organization called "Grant Prospect, Inc." and/or Old World Industries, Inc.,  have been sent to college students telling them they have been approved for a $50,000 grant to pay college related expenses.

The letter contains a check for over $4,000. The student is advised to cash the check to send money back to the organization to pay state and federal processing fees. The checks are counterfeit. Do Not Deposit them or fall for this scam aimed at college students!

Fraud prevention tips:

• Do not respond to suspicious e-mails or mailings. Most often it is best to just delete or throw them away

• Fake payment scams by their nature sound very believable. Scammers actively search for victims online

• Counterfeit checks, money orders, and currency look very real, and can even fool bank staff

• Under federal law, banks must make deposited funds available quickly. Just because you withdraw the money, doesn't mean the check is good. It can often take weeks to discovery forgeries

• Financial institutions that lose money as a result of cashing a fraudulent check expect to recoup their loss, often at the expense of the victim. You are responsible for the transactions you make

• There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you payment to ask you to send money back. Insist on getting paid the exact amount

• Trust your instincts. If a business proposition seems suspicious, then don't engage in the transaction

Here's a copy of the actual letter and check circulating at universities as scammers try to hook college students! Pass this information on to parents and students to help them avoid falling victim to this scam.

Source: Iowa Dept. of Justice, University of St. Thomas

For more information on recently reported holiday scams , and information for on online holiday shopping tips,

see a few earlier blogs:

Did you get an E- Valentine Card from friend? Don't open it until you check with that friend first!

Holiday Season Cyber Scammers Target Victims...

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1 Comment

Great information on this scam. Education is the key to fighint these scams.

Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of

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