A reader sent me this scam. He realised straight away that it was a scam, but has been exchanging emails with the scammer. I’ve reproduced the exchange here so that you see how this scam works. My reader tells me he set up a special email address and pretended to be his wife! (Not sure what she thinks about that.)
This is the classic fraudulent check scam – where the scammer sends you a check, asks you to pay it in, deduct your own fee and then forward the bulk of the money to a third party. After you’ve done that, your bank will withdraw the original deposit as fraudulent and you will be left out of pocket.
My reader, as you will see, was asked to forward the money using Moneygram – a cash transaction with no way of getting back the money you have lost.
Here, below, are the email between my reader and the scammer:
Brand Red Bull seeks individuals with automobiles looking to make extra income to take part in its maiden ***Auto Wraps Promo***. It is Very Easy and Simple with No Application fees required : Here’s how It works – The basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept RED BULL seeks people — regular citizens, not professional drivers — to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big advert for “RED BULL ” plastered on your car.The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “auto wraps,” that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which will cover any portion of your car’s exterior surface
What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure and awareness.The auto wraps tend to be colorful and eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it’s a form of advertising with a captive audience,meaning people who are stuck in traffic and can’t avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them. This program will last for 3 months and the minimum period you can participate is 1 month.
You will be compensated with a $400 (four hundred dollars per Week),which is essentially a “rental” payment for letting our company use the space. RED BULL shall provide Experts that would handle the advert placing on your car.You will receive an up front payment of $400 (four hundred dollars) inform of check for accepting to carry this advert on your car and other weekly payments will also come in the form of checks and delivered at your address weekly.
The following information below will be needed
Make of car/ year:
Do you have a driver’s license:
Phone Number(s) mobile/home :
We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive these information, RED BULL looks forward to working
My reader wasn’t prepared to give his real address, so made one up. He received the following email, explaining what he should do next, and telling him that he would be sent more money that was due and should forward the bulk to another company.
The biggest-selling most popular international premium beverage brand RED BULL Is delighted to have you on board as part of the current “Paid to Drive” marketing strategy with the concept of Vinyl decals/Auto wraps on Vehicles in to increase awareness of the Company brand,product and services all across the United states Vehicle wraps have become a very Important strategy for business promotion in the 21st century and we’ve been quite successful reaching our target audience and now Its your opportunity to drive your car with Vinyl decals/Auto Wraps of the Brand advertised on it and get paid every week as this promo lasts for 3 months and the minimum period you can participate is 1 month Your vehicle have been registered and approved for this Promotion with experts from QDR Graphics our Strategic partners scheduled to come around to put the decals advert wrap on your vehicle as soon as you have confirmed to have received your first week payment of $2950 for your services. However,as pointed out in previous emails to you,from the amount you will be receiving only the sum of $400 should be deducted for your first week payment for working with us carrying the advert on your car and the remaining balance will be sent out via Western Union Money Transfer to the specialist/expert from QDR Graphics coming over to handle the advert placement on your car after deducting your first week upfront payment.This is done in order to avoid delays or any inconvenience that may arise from your part. Also we do not want you to involve any of your personal funds in this program that is why all fund is made available to you.You do not need to drive to Specialist/experts handling the advert placement.
After the duration of your service and you want to discontinue,the specialist/expert will be on hand to remove the advert placement on your car with no traces of ever placing a vinyl decal on your vehicle so there’s nothing to worry about as everything will be taken care of accordingly,
N:B Please reply to this email and reconfirm your acceptance of this job offer with
Your full name
Address again for verification
Indicate ”YES I RECONFIRM THIS APPOINTMENT”
Congratulations once again please do stay in touch and we’ll keep you updated all the way Thank you for your Co-operation,We look forward to working with you
Of course, me reader reconfirmed the appointment. The scammer then reassured him that everything would go smoothly:
Thank you very much for providing your details.We hope you understand every bit of our email and you willing to take up this job again..We will have the check mailed out to you by next week and we will keep you posted with every details you need to know about the promo shortly..All you need now is to sit back and relax till you get the check and get back to us as soon as the check is being delivered to you so that you can get further information on our specialist/expert from QDR Graphics coming over to handle the advert placement on your car
It appears the scammer then went to the trouble of actually sending him a fake check via UPS.
We would like to inform you that the promo payment and that of the car wrap had been scheduled to be delivered to your doorstep this morning by UPS.Here is the tracking number provided by the courier for confirmation 1ZFW52202500000440, you can log on to the UPS website to check the status online. It’s a check of $2950.
INSTRUCTIONS TO FOLLOW :
When you receive the check , you are to go ahead to your bank and deposit it in your account . When you do that. do make sure you send us an email . Afterward we will give you further instructions on what to do next .
NB : When you carry out the instruction above, you must get back to us so as to tell you your next step .
Have a great day ahead .
Thanks for your patience
Not surprisingly, UPS couldn’t deliver it. But if you go to the real UPS website and enter the tracking code given below, you will see that a parcel was genuinely despatched.
UPS is having problem delivering the package because their was no apt number in the address you provided.Please do contact the nearest UPS location to you and provide a valid apt number or better still you go pick it up. We will be waiting to read from you soonest
Of course my reader claimed to have collected the check and was then give the following instructions:
Edit: Another reader has sent me a photograph of a cheque that they were sent as part of this scam. The cheque is in pounds, so I’m guessing that this reader lives in the UK and that this scam is operating in the UK as well as the US?
My reader tells me the cheque is very convincing! I wonder what his bank would think if he paid it in?