NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News mother Linda Brewer has a warning for other families. Her son fell victim to a car wrapping scam, losing thousands of dollars.
She says back in May, her son was communicating with a company he thought was Blue Bell Ice Cream.
“He had been working at having a deal where he would have his car wrapped and they would pay him 3 to 4 hundred dollars a week for driving his car with the advertising wrap on it,” said Brewer.
He would learn soon enough, the company was not Blue Bell Ice Cream at all, but instead a scammer. Brewer says he was sent emails and text messages. He was also sent a check for $3500.
“$3,000 would go towards the company that would be providing the wrap to go on his car,” she said.
Brewer said the other $500 would be his to keep.
“He actually deposited the funds through an ATM,” said Brewer.
Once the money was available in his account, he wired the $3,000 to the company he thought was going to wrap his car. Then, once that money was wired through, the scammers stopped responding.
“He realized at that point he’d been scammed. He said he found his bank account, the out-of-state bank account, was now in a negative state by just over $3,000,” said Brewer.
The check had bounced.
Brewer said they contacted the Federal Trade Commission and Newport News Police Department to report the crime.
10 On Your Side reached out to Blue Bell about this incident. They said, “This is not a Blue Bell program, but rather someone or some entity impersonating our company. Law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau have informed us that this is a common consumer scam. These individuals use the names of reputable companies to prey on people. When alerted to this, we recommend that individuals do not open attachments, click on links or respond to emails or text messages from these people. If the individuals feel comfortable, they should alert their local law enforcement with all the details.”
Around the same time Brewer and her son were dealing with the scam, the Perquimans County Sheriff’s Office posted about a very similar car wrapping scam for $3,900.
“Your bank’s going to come in and tell you that check was no good. Where you thought you were making money, but now you owe the whole amount of what was cashed out of that check,” said Perquimans Sheriff Shelby White.
The person in the Perquimans case realized it was a scam beforehand, and sent pictures of the check and communications straight to the sheriff’s office.
Brewer said she hopes her family’s experience will be an eye opener for others.
“This scam is going on and although we can manage our situation, it’s not the best place to be in and if we can help anyone not get into this situation that’s what we want to do,” said Brewer.
The Perquimans County Sheriff says if you ever have a question or think you’re getting scammed you can call them.
The Federal Trade Commission also has an area where you can file a complaint. Just go to this link.
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