4 Investigates Alert: Car wrap scam targets college students
March 15, 2019 07:16 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - There's a big scam going around targeting college students here in Albuquerque.
A promise is made for students to make hundreds of dollars by just driving around. Some have already fallen for it and now they're out thousands of dollars.
Being a college student isn't cheap. Scammers know this group is hard up for cash and easy targets and students know that.
"It's easy to fall for because that desperation we have of having little to no money and wanting to make a quick buck," said UNM student Antonio Trigo.
"They say hey, here's an opportunity. They give you "X" amount of money per hour. You should email us asap or call us asap, it's just sketchy," said UNM student Tyra Quetawki.
Now there's a new scam sliding into their inbox that Matthew Mora with the Better Business Bureau says is already costing New Mexico students thousands.
He says at least two college students in Albuquerque have already taken the bait.
"Two grand each, four grand total," Mora said.
The scammers are sending emails saying students can make money by wrapping their cars with advertisements. The one hitting UNM students promises $250 a week if they advertise a championship European football game on their car. Those who reply quickly get an email saying they're accepted.
The scammers just need an address, a name and a phone number. Then they send you a check.
KOB 4 got an actual check sent by the scammers to a victim who did not want to be identified. The check includes instructions to send the money to a third party so the victim’s car can be wrapped.
"When they give these checks to these banks, the bank is liable to have that money, in the bank account right away. So if they don't catch it right away, the money is going to be there for these people. You're liable for the money yes," said Mora.
Here’s the deal. The check is no good. If students cash the check, the bank can hold them responsible for the total amount. The scammers get the money and the victim is left holding the bag.
Arthur Archuleta is a vehicle wrap installer for Simply One Stop in Albuquerque. He's been in the business long enough to know when something doesn’t add up.
"A legitimate company is going to want to do criminal background checks. They're going to want to do vehicle inspections. Typically, it's not a weekly payment that they're going to give you," Archuleta said.
So how do we not fall for something like this?
Look out for misspellings and grammatical errors in the e-mail. Google the contact information listed from the e-mail sender.
KOB did for this particular scam and saw multiple scam alerts pop up.
Lastly, if they send you a check and ask you to send money back to them, that's a dead giveaway.
Updated: March 15, 2019 07:16 AM
Created: March 15, 2019 06:46 AM
Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved