Sunday, Mar 9, 2014
Franklin County Couple Warns of Car Wrap Scam
FRANKLIN COUNTY -- A West Frankfort family was thrilled when they first learned about an offer to make their car a driving advertisement. Now, they're just grateful they figured out the ploy before they were out about $2,000 in a fake check scam.
An email to the Johnson family offered them a quick way to make cash. All they would need to do is wrap their car in an ad for an energy drink.
"Then you just drive the car around for a couple of months," said Shirley Johnson. "You get paid so much per week."
Robert and Shirley, a retired couple from West Frankfort, hoped to put the money to good use this holiday season.
"We've got 11 grandkids," said Shirley Johnson. "So everybody gets just a little bit you know. I'd love to go out and just you know buy Christmas presents for everybody."
They replied to the email and soon received two checks. The checks were delivered by FedEx and appeared to come from a Bank of America account. The instructions were to deposit both checks and immediately send the money from one on to the graphic design company.
"That's when we started getting suspicious," said Shirley Johnson.
Their bank took a closer look at the checks and found the account didn't exist. A call to the name on the checks also led to law firm in California. The Johnsons knew then they had almost been scammed.
"There's rotten, rotten people out there," said Shirley Johnson.
The ploy doesn't surprise Williamson County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Murrah. He hears about online rip-offs like every week.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," said Murrah.
Murrah warns to never give out personal information. If a message comes from someone you don't know, it's probably a fake.
"Places that say they will send you money and you get to keep part of it, and pass part of it onto somebody else, it's usually an indicator, almost always an indicator, that there's something wrong there," said Murrah.
Murrah says it's best to let police know if you're targeted by a scam, even though catching the crooks is often difficult. Many of these scams can cross international lines.
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