Remember a few posts ago when I said we aren’t real enough on the Internet? How everyone promotes these picture perfect lives that make everyone else regret their own lives? Well, I’m combating that fakery with stories of my own reality. Here we go…
I got scammed.
Yup, I did.
I’m always looking for ways to earn money from the computer. I’m on it enough, it should be giving something back to my family. When the offer to drive an advertising car around town came, I wasn’t surprised. I remotely remember filling out some type of questionnaire about that months back. I don’t keep track of everything I apply for, figuring when something comes through I’ll start record-keeping at that point.’
It was a perfect opportunity. Drive the turbo mini van about the neighborhood, sporting vinyl ads for an energy drink. They would pay me a crap load of money and my student loans would be taken care of for the year. I was ready to jump at the chance.
The deal was to take the check they messengered to me, deposit it, take out my fee, and use the rest to pay the graphic designer for providing the vinyl decals. I know, right there I should have known, right?! But these people weren’t from some foreign country with a wealthy dead relative…
They messengered the check over and started texting me about getting in touch with the designer for application. I took the check to the bank and asked how long it would take to clear. Why I asked that, I don’t know. The bank told me it would be at least five days since the bank it was drawn on was in Georgia. Fine with me, I wasn’t touching the money until the check cleared.
Less than a week later, I received a phone call from the bank. The woman from the fraud department was in a panic, wondering if I had withdrawn any of the money. She was relieved to hear I hadn’t and explained that the check was counterfeit and the whole thing was a scam.
Unfortunately, that was the end of the story. I offered her phone numbers and email addresses of the people responsible, and she said they would have been changed/closed already so they were worthless.
I. Fell. For. A Scam.
I thought I was jaded enough to not have it happen. But it was real enough that I thought it was legitimate. Luckily, I was also astute enough to realize my butt was on the line for the money if the check didn’t clear.
Jim had been questioning the whole thing from the beginning because he knew the companies who really do use drive-around advertising have mileage and route requirements. The same day the bank called, I received an email from the alleged brand welcoming to their team. It was filled with spelling and grammar errors, enough that if my alarm bells weren’t already rung, they would have been clanging loud and clear.
Keep your eyes open, your wits about you, and don’t fall for any scams like this! The scammers are devilish in their approaches! (Seriously, the messengered check via the United States Postal Service was a nice touch!)