Live 5 Scambusters: Promise of extra cash turns into potential check fraud

Live 5 Scambusters: Promise of extra cash turns into potential check fraud

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - If you spent more than you planned over the holidays and are looking for extra income, you need to be on high alert for scammers disguised with opportunities for quick and easy money.

Nanci Vega of North Charleston was scouring the internet for ways to make extra cash. She came across an ad on Craigslist that looked like easy money just in time for Christmas.

The ad from a company called J Rio Properties offered $300 weekly to transform her car into a rolling advertisement.

“I’d heard of car wraps before and other people doing them so I thought, here’s finally the opportunity for me,” Vega said.

After messaging back and forth, Vega agreed to the deal and got a check in the mail a few days later. The check was for more than they’d discussed. The representative for J Rio Properties wanted her to deposit the $2,950.42 check in her bank. Then take most of that money to pay the guy who would wrap her car.

This is an immediate red flag for a check fraud scam. Before depositing the check, Vega showed it to her bank manager and explained the situation. After contacting the bank that issued the check, the manager confirmed it came from an empty account.

Depositing the check could have caused Vega major problems. Not only would she have been responsible for the amount of the check, but could have also been investigated for potential check fraud.

“That really brought it home to me,” Vega said. “I was like, oh my gosh I’m so glad I brought this check in and didn’t deposit it.”

The company advertising on Craigslist also raised some red flags. The ad for the car wrapping job is no longer there, but the company website is still up. It offers properties to rent that appear too good to be true.

Attempts to contact J Rio Properties were unsuccessful.

If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at Scams@live5news.com.

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