BBB warns of scammers targeting college students

Many college students are on the lookout for flexible, part-time employment to help cover their school expenses. If this describes you or a student in your life, watch out for scams. The Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker has received reports of employment cons impersonating professors and university departments.

How the scam works

You receive an email at your school email address encouraging you to apply for a job. The message appears to come from your school’s job placement office, student services department or even a specific professor. The position – it may be anything from pet sitting to secret shopping – sounds perfect for a college student. The work is easy, has flexible hours and offers excellent pay.

When you reply to the message, things start to get strange. The “employer” hires you without an interview. Then, he or she sends you a check with instructions to deposit it before you’ve even done any work. You are instructed to use the money to purchase gift cards, money orders, prepaid debit cards or other supplies you’ll need for your new job. Part of what you purchase should be sent to your new employer. The rest of the money will be your payment.

However, the check is a fake – a detail your bank will let you know a day or two after you deposit it. Any money you sent to your “employer” is gone for good.

Tips to avoid the scam

• Do your research. Before you accept any job, research the company that wants to hire you. Does the company have a professional website and legitimate contact information? Search for what others are saying about their experience with the company.

• Beware of red flags. Scammers often send emails with many typos and grammatical errors. They offer to hire you without an interview and even pay you before you’ve done any work. None of these are behaviors of a reputable business.

• Never send money to strangers. Never send funds in the form of cash, checks, gift cards or wire transfers to someone you don’t know or haven’t met. No legitimate company will ask you to pay them to get a job.

For more information on employment scams, visit bbb.org/employmentscam or bbb.org/avoidscams.

If you’ve been the victim of an employment scam, report it on bbb.org/scamtracker.

Transactions for the week of Oct. 23

Los Altos

743 Alvina Court, Klevickis Trust to N. & F. Farahani for $3,150,000

324 Blue Oak Lane, Peters Family Trust to T. & M. Hussain for $2,901,500

743 College Court, Mortimore Trust to Miotto Trust for $3,500,000

1571 Morton Avenue, Tonnesen Trust to Damle Trust for $3,425,000

11675 Putter Way, Zeng Trust to L. & R. Benson for $3,300,000

889 N. San Antonio Road No. 2000, K. Moravej to N. & N. Yuhjtman for $1,550,000

725 University Avenue, Guymon Trust to Albert Trust for $5,600,000

Los Altos Hills

13981 Fremont Pines Lane, Abramo Trust to Goodger Family Trust for $7,200,000

Mountain View

949 Eichler Drive, Leonhart Trust to J. & P. Choo for $2,688,000

905 W. Middlefield Road No. 943, Ventura-Scicli Living Trust to J. Yeom for $1,000,000

932 Tulane Drive, R. & V. Joshi to Yang Family Trust for $2,600,000

Cupertino

10084 Congress Place, S. Emani to S. & S. Hariharapura for $1,300,000

10919 Festival Drive, Subramanian Trust to Marasco Trust for $2,180,000

10317 Mary Avenue, S. Thodupunoori to L. & S. Venkataraman for $1,155,000

10466 Miller Avenue, E. Bialoglovski to S. & D. Balasubramaniam for $1,570,000

20239 Northwest Square, Leu Family Trust to P. & K. Bhagat for $1,400,000

13225 Peacock Court, Raghuram Family Trust to H. & H. Xu for $3,088,000

20128 Stevens Creek Boulevard No. 208, Wu Trust to Tang Trust for $1,230,000

7660 West Hill Lane, Gray Family Trust to J. & E. Su for $1,650,000

10312 Westacres Drive, Harkin Trust to B. & P. Vinjamuri for $2,272,500

Overall

Los Altos

Total sales: 7

Lowest sale: $1,550,000

Highest sale: $5,600,000

Average sale: $3,346,600

Los Altos Hills

Total sales: 1

Average sale: $7,200,000

Mountain View

Total sales: 3

Lowest sale: $1,000,000

Highest sale: $2,688,000

Average sale: $2,096,000

Cupertino

Total sales: 9

Lowest sale: $1,155,000

Highest sale: $3,088,000

Average sale: $1,760,600

– Cal REsource

Los Altos church targeted in ongoing award scam


Melissa Hartman/Town Crier
St. Nicholas & St. William Catholic Parish’s teen ministry program “won” the 2019 Best of Los Altos “Church” category, according to an email from the Los Altos Award Program. However, the program is not associated with the city, and little information about it is available.

For the third time in six months, a local business or group reported receiving a suspicious email solicitation from the Los Altos Award Program.

St. Nicholas & St. William Catholic Parish’s teen ministry program “won” the 2019 Best of Los Altos “Church” category, the latest email message read.

Will no-cost trading improve your investment returns?

Charles Schwab & Co. revealed recently that it plans to eliminate online transaction fees for exchange-traded funds, stocks and options. Two days, later TD Ameritrade followed suit, causing brokerage stocks to suffer their worst weekly drop in well over a decade as investors digested the earnings losses brokerage firms are likely to experience.

Is this really a big deal, and which investors are most likely to benefit?

Transactions for the week of October 16

Los Altos

364 Benvenue Avenue, A. & R. Moskovitz to Chen Trust for $4,460,000

1676 Christina Drive, S. & C. Hasser to Q. Ma for $2,950,000

Downtown parking permit prices set to more than double

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Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A Volkswagen Beetle displays an annual employee parking permit.

City of Los Altos economic development coordinator Anthony Carnesecca is overseeing two major changes to the city’s downtown employee parking permit program: a shift in the permit cycle to reflect the calendar year and a more than $60 increase in the annual renewal rate.


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