Scammers prey on teens trying to participate in the city’s youth works program

Denver youth, beware.
2 min. read
Mayor Mike Johnston announces budget cuts and changes to Denver’s immigrant programs at the City and County Building on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

A scammer is trying to take advantage of young people interested in applying to Denver YouthWorks, the city's program that will give students who work 100 hours over the summer a $1,000 stipend.

After Mayor Mike Johnston and Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero announced the program on May 20, students began reporting that they had received emails and letters from a company unaffiliated with the city. The notices included branding similar to the real YouthWorks Initiative, but it prompted students to pay to participate.

The group behind the messages said it would offer students help finding jobs and qualify for the $1,000 bonus the city was offering.

Sadly, for the students, the offer was too good to be true.

"Unfortunately, after an individual provides their personal information, the scam organization asks them to send money for services that never materialize," according to a statement from Denver Public Schools.

"The YouthWorks Initiative will never ask you to pay to be included in the program," the district added in a statement. "To make sure that you are on the right track, go to From there, you will find all of the details and the legitimate link to apply to the program."

The district is also encouraging students to attend the city's hiring fairs. One is online today, May 24, from 4 to 5 p.m., and the other is in person on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the PPA Event Center, 2015 Decatur St.

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