NATIONWIDE — The Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau is warning of a new scam targeting college students.
- Car Wrap Scam targeting college students who need quick cash
- Scammers send fake checks to students to get ads wrapped on car
- FTC tips on how to spot the Car Wrap Scam
It's called the Car Wrap Scam — and it targets students looking for ways to make a few extra bucks.
Here's how it works:
- You'll get an email that says something like "Get Paid to Drive." If you bite, the scammers will send you a check, which you'll find out later is a scam.
- Next, they want you to deposit the check and then send a good chunk of that money to a "specialist" so they can put an ad on your car.
- That deal never happens and you're out of the money.
In 2013, Halina Zakowicz took the bait and was sent a check for more than $2,000 to wrap her car. She was told to keep $300 and wire the difference to a graphic artist. Thankfully, Zakowicz did some research before cashing the check and found out it wasn't legit. She then turned the scam into homework for her blog post.
"Reaching out to these scammers and just having all these checks coming to me. Just to see what would happen, what their techniques were," Zakowicz said.
She said checks for thousands of dollars were mailed to her, all with the same promise. And the thieves got aggressive and threatened to call the police if she didn't cash the check.
One thing to note, if the opportunity was legit, the company wouldn't pay you, they would pay a car-wrapping vendor directly.
And Jim Temmer with the Better Business Bureau points out, fake checks have been roping people in for years, promising good money to those who need it.
"They'll look at social media, they look at job boards, and they'll look for people looking for work," Temmer said.
But for money college students in need of extra cash, they might look at this opportunity and maybe even fall for it.
If you've been a victim of this scam, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.