Boise Police warn of car advertising scheme

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Boise Police are warning of an email phishing scheme that offers to pay people for advertising on a personal car. Investigators say one person was recently taken for $2,000.

Detective Wade Spain said the thieves send you a check, ask you to cash it, and then send part of the money back to them. The check turns out to be fake, and the victim is responsible for paying the bank back.

"It's just the lure of easy money," said Spain. "'Hey, all I have to do is have my car wrapped, and just do some driving around in the process (and) I get paid for it.' It sounds really easy, and it sounds too good to be true and it really is."

Signs-2-U in Boise is a company who does car wrapping advertising for real people. Over the last seven years, they have seen several cases where people will come in looking to get their car wrapped not knowing it's fake.

According to company president Mike Tankersley, they've been able to stop people who come in before they lose their money.

"Every six to eight months someone will drop in and say 'they offered me $10,000 to do this to my car' and I will say 'well, you know, who was it? Was it a reputable company?'" Tankersley said.

He notes that in some cases companies will pay to advertise on vehicles. Tankersley said normally it's a larger company doing it for a smaller business that sells their product.

Tankersley said there is a longer process than just a random email.

"The only way that ever works is they will send us the money, we will do the graphics, and sell it to the customer," Tankersley said. "If you don't have an absolute form letter and a contact person then it's not for real."

Police are urging residents who get the email to not reply, and to just delete it. They note that a legitimate company will never send you money and then ask you to send a portion of it back.