‘I believed it’: Woman warns others about car wrap scam

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 2:38 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2021 at 7:19 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - A Chesterfield woman is warning others about the car wrap scam after she lost more than $1,000 because of it.

”It is shame that it happened to me to learn my lesson, but I don’t want somebody else to fall into it,” said Patricia Hill.

Hill has been caring for her mother and says she was in need of extra cash when she got a message offering to pay her $500 a week to place a Dr. Pepper sticker on her car as an advertisement.

“Even my mom looked into this with me and said it looked good,” she explained. “He sent $1,700 in a check, said it was an advance.”

In order to get the check, Hill shared sensitive information like a copy of her driver’s license and Social Security number She says she spoke only via text with a man who allegedly represented Dr. Pepper. After he sent her the money, the check at first cleared, so Hill went ahead and paid bills. However, about two days later, it was flagged as a forgery.

“I contacted him - he said ‘well, I stopped payment on it.’ I am like dude, I went to the bank. They said ‘no, the check was a fraud,’” said Hill. “He got me good. Obviously, [the car] is not wrapped, he never came out.”

She was left to pay more than $1,000 and was charged one over draft fee. Hill says BB&T waived additional overdraft fees as her son and mother worked to help her pay the money back.

“Thank God, I have family that is going to help,” she said.

Hill also contacted Chesterfield police about the situation and took steps to protect her identity.

She says it was important to share what happened to her, to help prevent someone else from getting caught up in a scam.

“There’s people out there like me “oh wow, a quick dollar.” What if there is an old lady who believes it or a young person?” she said. “I believed it like an idiot. I don’t want nobody else to get suckered into this.”

NBC 12 reached out to Dr. Pepper about Hill’s situation, a spokesperson wrote:

“We do not have any program offering to wrap cars in advertising graphics in exchange for compensation for any of our brands. This is unfortunately a scam that uses the names of popular consumer brands to get people to respond. If approached with such an offer, consumers should not respond and most definitely do not send or wire money or provide their bank account number, credit card number, social security number or any other personal information and notify their local law enforcement immediately.”

The Federal Trade Commission says there are several ways to spot a Car Wrap Scam.

“If you get a message urging you to deposit a check and wire money back, it’s a scam. Every time. No matter the story,” wrote FTC Consumer Education Specialist, Aditi Jhaveri.” And if this were a legitimate car wrap opportunity, wouldn’t the company directly pay the car-wrapping vendor, instead of asking you to do it?

If you have been targeted by the Car Wrap Scam, you can file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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