October 4, 2014
The Upper Allen Township Police Department would like to make citizens aware of a new scam. This scam involves perpetrators who claim to be representatives of various popular companies (Monster, Coca-Cola, Etc). The perpetrators claim they will pay an individual a monthly sum of money if the victim agrees to display the company’s decals or vinyl “wrapping” advertisements on their personal vehicle. The perpetrators pay an upfront amount of money to the individual via check or money order and explain that they are to keep a percentage of the money for themselves and use the rest to pay to have the vehicle “wrapped”in vinyl with the company logo. The intended victim will then be told they will receive a monthly payment for displaying the advertisement on their vehicle. The check and money order are later learned to be fraudulent, often after the victim has already made purchases, and the monthly payments never arrive. When the victim contacts the perpetrators to question the invalid check or money order they are often harassed and intimidated into “re-paying” the perpetrators for funds the victim never received. The perpetrators often use internet sites such as Craigslist and Facebook to facilitate the scam to their intended victims.
The best prevention for this type of crime is DO NOT reply to unsolicited offers, especially those that promise financial gain. DELETE unsolicited emails or texts offering ways to make money. If you are trying to sell an item online, do not accept any form of payment except cash or certified check presented to you in person or a legitimate verified online payment through such sources as PayPal. DO NOT accept checks (personal or business) that are sent to you in excess of the amount of the sale price, regardless of how they are sent to you.
If any offer seems to good to be true, or is not the manner in which you would handle the same purchase, it is most likely a scam.