CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB)–The text messages to Colleen Slota’s smartphone were relentless, she would be receiving an advance payment in the form of a check to wrap her truck in an advertisement.
A subsequent letter delivered by UPS, indicated Slota would receive $500 a week to drive her shrink wrapped Chevrolet Silverado to advertise Monster energy drinks. Enclosed in the envelope was a check for $4,650 to cover the costs.
A shrink-wrapped car, truck, or van is like a mobile billboard, and if the vehicle is yours, it can pay good money. There are drawbacks, though, such as insurance and liability, and experts warn, a consumer would never receive legitimate advertising offer unsolicited as Colleen did.
All Colleen had to do was deposit the check into her account, and await further instructions. But Slota’s blacked out Z-71 is the Cheektowaga businesswoman’s pride and joy, and the texts, the check, the letter, and the return address were not adding up.
So she did not deposit the check, “Because the address on [the check] is for Pennsylvania, against the envelope saying Iowa, against the phone numbers being from Syracuse and New York City.”
Colleen figured it was all a scam, and authorities have been warning consumers for years to watch out for counterfeit checks that accompany unsolicited offers for jobs, investments, and easy ways to make a lot of money fast.
News 4 contacted Mike Penfold of Kustom Workz, a company that wraps vehicles about a shrink wrap offer supposedly advertising Red Bull in 2017.
Penfold said the surest way of checking the legitimacy of the car wrap offer, “Call Red Bull and make sure it is true.”
Slota said researching a shrink wrap offer can save conusmers a lot of grief, “This check is so legit-looking, too many people would cash this–too many people in bad situations, on a whim–even other people would not pay attention to what is really going on.”
Colleen found the Pennsylvania engineering firm named on the fake check is an actual business, but the scammers used a bogus address, and it is a good thing she did her homework.
If Slota, or any consumer, had deposited that counterfeit check into her account, and withdraw money from the account, when the check would have bounced a few days later she would have been on the hook to pay back every penny to her bank.