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Northeast California
UC Davis Purchase Order Scam Schools Businesses
September 03, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Ca., Aug. 30, 2013 – Local businesses are encouraged to review purchase orders claiming to be from University of California, Davis carefully after hundreds of businesses across the United States report receiving scam emails and purchase orders claiming to come from the university.  

According to the UC Davis Police Department, the emails request quotes for specific merchandise. Later, a purchase order is emailed to the business that bears resemblance to an authentic UC Davis purchase order. The purchase order instructs delivery to an address not affiliated with UC Davis.  

After shipping the merchandise, the business never receives payment and is unable to retrieve the mailed products.  

UC Davis Police Department and BBB offer businesses the following tips to identify fraudulent emails:

Don’t just take their word for it. The writer of the email uses names of people actually employed by UC Davis. Research other details in the email to determine its validity.

Check out the email address. Emails from the University of California, Davis typically come from a ucdavis.edu domain, not a .com or address mentioning the city of Davis. 

Read the email. Most of the fraudulent emails reported contain poor grammar and misspellings. 

Look for a phone number. Many of the emails do not provide a phone number to reach the buyer. If a phone number is provided, it rarely matches the area codes UC Davis utilizes for its communications. 

Research the address. The fraudulent orders often instruct the business to ship the products to an apartment complex, mobile home park or other residential address. UC Davis does not request orders be sent to residential addresses. Take a moment to type the address into an online map service and research the property before sending merchandise. 

Investigate. Contact UC Davis Police Department at 530-752-1727 to report any questionable orders. 

If you believe you have been victimized by this scam, report it to the FBI at www.ic3

For more tips you can trust, visit necal.bbb.org or follow BBB on Facebook

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Reporters: For more information or to schedule an interview with a BBB spokesperson, contact Cailin Peterson at 916-307-4199.

As a business-supported nonprofit organization, Better Business Bureau's mission is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior, helps consumer identify reliable businesses through BBB Business Reviews, sets standards for truthful advertising, evaluates and provides reviews of charities, educates consumers, and offers dispute resolution services. In 2012, consumers relied on BBB 124 million times for Business Reviews, consumer tips and scam alerts. To learn more, please visit www.necal.bbb.org.