Offers to make hundreds of dollars per week just for using your car is one way scammers are targeting people who just want to make some extra cash.
The ploy has cost people millions of dollars and typically starts as a job posting or email. For Judy Jones it started with an unsolicited text.
"They were willing to pay like $550 a week for me to drive my car around with their advertisement on it," she says.
She had been looking for a job and putting some ads on her car sounded like a good fit.
Text messages from the mystery person said her car would be wrapped decals for Sheets Energy Strips.
Judy did some research online and found commercials for the energy product on YouTube.
"Some guy who had actually used the product said it had tasted like a shot of coffee," she says.
It was enough to convince her to sign up.
They overnighted a $1,900 check with instructions.
"I was supposed to contact another number for the person that was going to do the actual install of the decal," Judy says.
But Judy wasn't moving fast enough.
"The guy just kept texting me have you gone to the bank yet? Have you gone to bank yet?"
She started getting suspicious and after speaking to her husband she was ready to back out.
"He goes 'I understand you because there's a lot scam (sic) going on out there but I'm giving you my word okay?' So that's when I said well who are you?"
The jig was up. Judy offered to send back the check. The scammer didn't want it. And threatens her with the CIA, FBI and gave a warning "not to text him back and I'd be arrested soon. And so I'm still waiting," she said.
We've seen this scam again and again. This guy never worked for Sheets Energy Strips, doesn't have a position wrapping cars and only wanted Judy to cash the check. Had the scam continued, she would send his associate some money to wrap the car and been on the hook when the check bounced.
Three things these scammers do:
- Use real products to mask the scam
- Send a big check to cash
- Threaten arrest when you tell them to take a hike
Glad she didn't fall for it, now hopefully you won't either.