Boise Police have had two reported cases in the past week of people falling victim to an email scam. Sadly, one victim is out $2,000. A second victim realized the scam before losing money and called police.
“Education is the key to eliminating victims in this scam and dozens of others like it,” said Det. Wade Spain, a financial crimes investigator with Boise Police. “Especially those of us who are in need of extra cash, these offers sound so easy which makes them attractive. But do your homework. It’s very hard to tell a victim they will not be getting their cash back.”
How the Scam Works: An email or an ad on an e-commerce website offers cash to car owners willing to have their vehicles wrapped with a company logo. The company’s mentioned are well known, major brands. The scheme offers people several hundred dollars a week to wrap their car as advertising.
Those that accept the offer are sent a check for a large amount of money. When cashing the check, victims are told a portion is their payment and to wire the rest of the money, in one victims case, $2,000, to the “company” who will supposedly provide the vehicle wrap. The scammers use valid account information from real companies, but quickly, the checks are found to be fraudulent and the bank demands the money back from the individual who cashed the fraudulent check.
Both victims in Boise were contacted originally via un-solicited e-mails.
Scam Isn’t New: Research shows this scam is not new and is occurring worldwide.
How to Avoid Falling Victim: Legitimate employers will not ask you to send them money. The emails and Internet ads for this scam are often well designed using logos from recognizable and respected brands. However, always research job offers and accept employment only from legitimate employers. Many of these scammers use accounts that are outside the US and victims who fall for the scams are out their hard earned money.