First Volunteer Bank wants to help protect you, your family and your money by helping you understand common scams that we have seen in the area. By understanding these scams, we hope you can make better choices and not fall victim to these scams. We will be periodically putting these types of articles out in order to better your knowledge of these types of scams so you can make better decisions.
The scam we are discussing this time is the Car Wrap Scam.
The target for this scam is mostly college students or other low income households.
This is how the Scam works:
The scammers will normally make contact by an email or by using job hunting websites. They use a message like, “Get paid to drive – You drive every day, why not get paid for it?” They offer to pay $250.00 – $350.00 a week if you will drive around with your car (or truck or motorcycle) wrapped to advertise a well-known product – or even an event like the upcoming 2020 Olympics.
Once the student shows interest, the scammer will send a check to be deposited into an account and the scammer will notify the depositee that they will need to use some of the check funds to have an “approved specialist” put the ads on the car. In order to use this approved specialist, the person receiving the check will need to send the excess funds from the check to someone via Money Order, gift cards or some other form of electronic payment.
This conversation normally goes like this: Thank you for your interest. We are sending you a check in order to get you set up. We will cover the cost of the “Approved Specialist” but need you to deposit the check and use the checks excess funds to pay for a specialist, who will then contact you for a date and time to do the detail work. The check will be larger than normal because TN law will not allow us to deduct fees from a paycheck to cover this expense.
The next thing that happens is the check is returned and you as the customer are responsible for the overdraft. For a college student this could mean they cannot pay it back, resulting in a loss for the bank.
The easiest way you can protect yourself, is to understand this scam so you do not become involved, and remember if it is too good to be true, it is.