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Student pro tip: Never trust strange men in Allston bars who ask you to cash a check

Nothing good can come of that, a Northeastern student learns the hard way.

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I did not realize that people still fall for this one, I'm only 33 and I've known this since at least high school. Check fraud is so well known that I'd expect anyone to laugh in the face of any stranger that asked to cash a check for them. Wasn't this a well-worn movie trope back in the 80s and 90s when checks were more commonly used?

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Usually the person who falls for this is an international student who doesn't understand the American money system. And if its not an international student, the conman or conwoman hopes to snag someone who had a sheltered life or looks pretty stupid or had a good heart for helping people. Chances are if YOU were commit a con like this, you have (I think) a flip of a coin that you will be able to pull it off if you hang around long enough at any big college campus here in Boston.

For the record, I've encountered quite a few of these men. I'll never forget the first time one guy approached me to help cash his check, when I was 18 years old, a long time ago... problem is there was a check-cashing place about 20 YARDS from where WE were standing! I told him why not go to that place (I'm pointing my finger at that location) to cash your check? He replied, its "faster if I could help him instead." I knew he was trying to con me right there. I walked away.

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Some years back one of these guys tried to target me with a sob story that he was diabetic and needed gas to get home for his insulin. If I could just take a check from him, it would mean the world to him. Troll that I am, I said "Gosh, if you need your insulin, let's get emergency services here to help. The police will know what to do."

He jumped in his car and drove away. I provided a description and his license plates to the police.

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What the heck is a check? Is that some fancy Bank of America app?

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10:03 a.m.

A student reported that on Thursday, Nov. 7 he left his property unattended in Snell Library for two hours, and when he returned his computer mouse and watch were gone.

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As a NU grad I find this one to be priceless. I was hesitant to put down my backpack at my feet for a few minutes, let alone walk away from my stuff for 2 hours while inside the Snell Library.

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As an NU grad myself, I am more surprised that this type of stealing is pretty common at Snell more than ever... even with the ID carding at the entrance. That was suppose to weed out the people (ex: the trespassing thiefs looking for unattended belongings) that are not supposed to be there at all. I was a student when Snell instituted the carding policy almost 10 years ago, and the first two years crimes like that in the library went down significantly. But apparently it was only for the short-term. Either the trespassers found another way to sneak in (with a fake ID for example) or the thieves are sadly fellow classmates.

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it was SOP that you had to show your ID to enter the library, even if you were entering from the underground tunnel system that connected several of the buildings on campus.

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The student said the man told him he was also a student, and asked if the student could cash a check for $460 because banks were closed at that time of night. The student gave the man $300 and the man gave him the check.

Heh heh heh... "Sucker!" Sheesh.

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Wow, I'm lucky if I have $20 on me at all times--never mind $300. Those days of disposable income are O-V-E-R!

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n/t

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Looks like Northeastern should send every student a link to this page:

http://massbike.org/blog/2010/01/19/how-to-lock-up-your-bicycle/

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