Identity Theft

The Quick-Cash Scheme That’s Too Good to Be True

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There are few people in this world who aren’t at least intrigued by an opportunity to make more money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.8 million Americans have more than one job (that’s 4.6% of employed people), either because they need the extra income or they merely enjoy the flexibility that comes with multiple incomes. Unfortunately, some people see this eagerness for extra earnings as a way to manipulate and steal from others.

A scam recently popped up in Idaho involving vehicle wrapping — when companies compensate consumers for outfitting their cars in the company’s logo — and at least one victim has lost $2,000 as a result, according to FOX9 in Boise.

Here’s what seems to happen: A consumer receives an email saying they could earn hundreds of dollars by having their vehicle wrapped in the logo of a well-known brand. If the consumer agrees, they receive a check from the company as part of their compensation, at which point the consumer is told to wire money to the company to pay for the vehicle wrap. The checks are fraudulent, leaving the victim with no compensation and out whatever amount of money he or she wired to the scammers.

Boise police say one victim lost $2,000 and another called the police after realizing the offer was a scam (the report from FOX9 did not say whether the person who reported the scam had lost money).

Consumers looking to make extra money should know that there are plenty of legitimate ways to increase their cash flow — including putting corporate logos on cars — but you have to research potential side gigs, because there’s no shortage of people trying to dupe others. Having to pay upfront for an additional source of income is usually (but not always) a red flag that something may be off with the deal, especially if you’re asked to electronically transfer money to someone you don’t know.

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Image: Digital Vision

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