FTC Division of Consumer & Business Education Attorney Rosario Méndez, wrote in a July 3 agency blog about a new form of check scam making the rounds (“The Rap on Car Wrap Scams,” found at www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/rss).
The alleged scam involves advertisements placed online or through email messages seeking individuals to “rent” space on their cars. It is claimed that the cars will be fitted with “shrink-wrap” advertising a legitimate company.
The individual contacted is to be paid for the rental and only has to drive around as normal.
Méndez states that the person agreeing to the “rental” then receives a legitimate-looking check (although, Méndez notes, it is not) for an amount in excess of the rental payment. The person is asked to deposit the check in his or her bank account, keep the rental amount as payment, and “wire the rest of it to the company that will wrap your car.” That amount could be large.
When your bank finally discovers the check is fake, "you have to pay it back,” the attorney writes, since you are responsible for the check deposit.
The FTC urges consumers to be wary of instructions from people you do not know for you to deposit money and then wire money back. The agency says legitimate companies don’t pay you by asking you to wire money to them.
Joseph Pellicciotti is an Indiana University Northwest faculty member and administrator. The article is for informational purposes only and not intended as specific advice. Consult your professional advisor before taking action. Author does not endorse/guarantee content within websites.