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Nationwide scheme hits East El Paso, victim speaks out
By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas If you're looking for a way to make some extra money quickly, you could become a victim of the "auto-wrap advertising" online scheme.
It's happening nationwide, and KFOX14 spoke to one east El Paso man who said it also lured him in. He did not want to give his name but said he wants to share his story so no one else will make the same mistake.
The victim we spoke with said he first came across the scheme in a local Craigslist ad. He said the "auto wrap" company's ad promised $400 a week in exchange for placing a company logo sticker in the back window of his car.
The supposed company sent him a check for $1,280 with instructions that $400 of that was his payment and that he was required to wire the rest to a provided address across the country. The instructions said the money he wired would pay for the car logo.
"It was some lady out in Washington, D.C. It seemed really strange that I was sending the money all the way out there to pay for a sticker that's supposed to be local," the victim said.
However, once he wired the money, it was clear the original check was fake and the transaction bounced. He now owes his bank $1,280.
He said he would have owed even more money because the schemers sent him a second check almost immediately.
"That's why it seemed a little strange because I was supposed to only be paid on a weekly basis, but instead of being paid on a weekly basis, I got two checks in two days," he said.
The victim also told KFOX14 he received emails urging him to cash the second check and wire more money just like the first time. He said he realized something was wrong after that, tore up the check and filed a police report claiming fraud.
In the case of the victim we spoke with, he was under the impression he would be advertising a "new cracker company" coming to El Paso.
ScamDetector.com reports the auto-wrap scheme could also claim to partner with companies like Coca-Cola, Monster Energy and Budweiser, but no major brand would hire anyone off the Internet to wrap cars with advertising.