North Platte Police advise residents to be wary of a “car wrapping/money order cashing" scam.
A North Platte woman recently answered a classified ad looking for cars and drivers. The company, Walter’s Auto, claimed it would pay $200 a month to people who would carry advertising logos on their car.
This report is part of a continuing series about scams in and around west-central Nebraska. If you know of one, contact authorites and email us at george@northplattebulletin.
After communicating with the woman through emails and text messages on her cell phone, the company sent her two $990 money orders by Federal Express. They told her to cash them, to keep $200 for her first week’s work, and then send the rest of the money via a money-gram to a Missouri company, who would hire a North Platte dealer to “wrap” her car with the advertisement.
The suspicious woman contacted the money order company, who said they did not issue the money orders. Then she called the North Platte police.
If she would have cashed the money orders and they would have bounced, she would have been liable for the total – nearly $2,000.
Police Information Officer Rodney Brown said it’s a new twist on an old check-cashing scam.
“The scammers claim they will pay for the owner's car to be wrapped with advertisements for popular companies like Monster Energy, Coca-Cola, or Budweiser,” Brown said. “Victims are solicited over the internet in various classified ads. Once attracted and registered, scammers then send a fraudulent check or checks for a large amount of money.”
Brown said that the police are not aware of any car wrapping companies actively looking for drivers, and one should never pay to get on a car wrap advertiser list, because those lists are also part of a scam.
“Regardless of the method, whether it be the sale of real estate, livestock, a ‘single woman in need,’ etc., the object of any check cashing scam is to find an inexperienced or vulnerable person to cash fraudulent cashier’s or business checks and send legitimate money to the criminal,” Brown said.