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Problem Solvers: Oklahoma woman warns of 'car wrap' scheme

Posted at 4:04 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 23:39:31-04

With so many struggling financially during the pandemic, fraudsters are out to take advantage of that.

The latest scheme promises money for wrapping your car in an advertisement.

"Here it is — can you see this check? It looks very real," Janet Hotubbee said.

Hotubbee shows a check that appears to be legitimate for a large amount of money that she almost deposited into her account.

"I could use this money to pay off some other stuff, you know?," Hotubbee said.

This whole scheme started with an email a few weeks ago.

"I had a little add come into my email and it said, you know, if you need some extra money let us know as far as wrapping your car. You know, we want to advertise on your car, and we’ll let you know if you’ve been chosen or not you know and I clicked on it. So, I forgot all about it," Hotubbee said.

Then a few weeks later a box arrived to her front door.

"I opened it up and inside there’s this check for $4,750.50 and a little note with it that said, “oh congratulations," you know "you’ve been chosen to", [sic] in order for us to continue would you please put your name, text your name and the check number and the check amount to them. So, that's what I did," Hotubbee said.

The email claimed to want to wrap her car in an advertisement for Dr. Pepper and pay her good money to do it.

"And that was kind of odd to me. So, I went that’s a lot of money for them to want some retired lady that doesn’t drive a lot to put anything on her car," Hotubbee said. "I was like this is not right."

That's when she started to do some research into the offer and found out her suspicions were accurate.

"So, I contacted Dr. Pepper and they said, 'No, absolutely not. We will never do that,' and I said, 'Okay, thank you very much,'" Hotubbee said.

Amie Mitchell with the Tulsa area Better Business Bureau says this type of fraud is not uncommon.

"I mean the classic statement is hey do a job for me, I’m going to send you money then you get the money. It’s a check for more than the amount that was agreed upon and then they ask you to wire the money back. Once you go to the bank and you’ve deposited that check then eventually that check bounces and whatever money you sent you are liable for," Mitchell said.

Janet says she's just glad the whole charade stopped where it did and she isn't out the money, but she wants others to know about it.

"I just want everybody to know that you need to be careful," Hotubbee said.

To report scams to the Better Business Bureau, click here.

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