Car wrap scammers target Western New York

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jul 30, 2018

It seems like an easy way to make a quick buck. Slap the logo of a major brand on the side of your car and drive around like you usually would. But, one WNY woman is raising the alarm on what is actually a sophisticated scam.

Judith Miller from Alden saw an advertisement for the promotion and signed up. Someone claiming to be from Dr. Pepper Snapple Group reached out requesting some basic information in order to get the process started.

"And I thought, you know I can use the extra money and for three months, sure they can wrap my car," Miller said. "They can wrap all my cars."

The man sent Miller a check in the mail. She was told to cash the check. Miller could keep a portion but the rest of the $1900 would need to be given to a "specialist" they were sending to put decals on the car.

Miller went to the Erie County Sheriff's Office who confirmed the check was real but the people were scammers. The "car wrap scam" has happened in other parts of the country. After getting most of the money back, the scammers cancel the check before it clears the bank.

"If I would've cashed this $1900 check and they stop payment on it, all of a sudden the bank would take $1900 out of my checking account to cover the check that didn't clear," Miller said.

The Federal Trade Commission offers advice about how to spot car wrap scams. You can learn more here.

The Better Business Bureau recommends throwing the check away and never responding to messages asking for personal or financial information. You can read more from the BBB here.

You can report scams to the BBB here.

Take WKBW Everywhere, on all your devices.  Download below!

Phone or Tablet: Apple, Android
Set-top Device: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Alexa

Personalize your news, get the latest 7 First Alert Forecast, and watch 7 Eyewitness News video wherever, whenever.

Learn more here about what 7 Eyewitness News provides on all these devices.