Police Warn of Car Wrap Scam

Takoma Park Police are warning residents of a scam involving fake text messages that claim to offer payment for placing advertisements on personal vehicles.

“If you receive a text like this photo, it’s a scam that aims to steal your information and identity and is making its rounds around the country. Don’t fall for it!”, reads an emailed community advisory.

“The phishing scam, a.k.a. “smishing,” is where cybercriminals send text messages to get you to click a malicious link or provide personal data.

“Based on the information they obtain, cybercriminals can steal your identity, empty your bank account, or install malware in your phone.

“Ignore the message! Do not click on suspicious links, and don’t provide personal-identifying information.

“Please share this information with your friends and family.”

The Federal Trade Commission has been tracking car wrap scams since 2016. “The gist of the scam is this: scammers send emails and post to social media and job boards with messages like “GET PAID TO DRIVE,” the FTC’s Ari Lazarus wrote in a December 2020 blog post. “They offer to pay you up to $700 a week if you’ll drive around with your car (or truck or bike) wrapped to advertise a well-known product. But they’re not really affiliated with the brand. They just want your money.”

Screenshot courtesy Takoma Park Police. Photo: © Tim / Adobe Stock

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