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Better Ask Barry: Wrapping your car for cash? Think twice


SALINAS, Calif (KION) There have been scammers and con artists forever and they all have one thing in common: They try to separate you from your money.

Lately, a popular scam involves trading checks, as in, “I’ll send you a check, and you send me one back.”

When Michael Poling posted his resume online, he was offered a customer service job he could from home.

“Nothing really odd about it, or anything like that to me.”

The company sent him a 5-thousand dollar check to buy office equipment and told Poling to return any money left over.

And that was the scam. The company’s check was worthless, and any refund he sent back would come out of his own pocket.

A member of our KION news team was targeted for a similar scam. All he needed to do was have his car decorated with a major company’s logo and send back the unused cash.

“I’ll transfer the difference from my account to you and I’ll keep 500?"

"Yeah, you are right," replied the caller.

"Okay, that makes perfect sense.”

Not to Julio Gil at Central Coast Sign & Design.

“As far as I know, no,” he said.

Gil says companies brand their own vehicles all the time but don’t randomly approach drivers.

“You got liability, you know? You don’t know how this person drives or anything like that. They can actually make your name look bad.” 

Mark Crout of Marina was targeted twice with the car wrap scam.

He got a check for over 39-hundred dollars to have his truck wrapped with the Dr. Pepper logo.

Mark deposited the check and two days later, it bounced.


The Better Business Bureau's top ten list of scams for 2019 includes employment, fake money orders, and romance scams. Each promises great returns, but always come with a catch.


"What happens is they essentially don't return anything, they take that money, pocket it, and leave you with nothing," said Melissa Trumpower from the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust.

Her advice echoes that of so many experts: "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is and do your homework."

Author Profile Photo

Barry Brown

Barry Brown is an anchor and reporter at KION News Channel 5/46.


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