TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Miguel Serio is a retired nurse but was recently looking for “gig” work to make extra money.
Serio signed up online to receive alerts on such opportunities and then an interesting offer showed up.
The opportunity asked that he lease out a portion of his car for advertisement space for businesses such as McDonald’s.
He sent in the information needed to get the ball rolling: the make and model of his vehicle, street address, and zip code. A week later, Serio said he and a friend he recruited received checks for nearly $5,000.
A letter advised the friends to deposit the checks and to text a phone number when they had done so.
“They only accept texts, so you can’t talk to anyone. So I thought, that’s a little fishy and who today would send someone $5,000 and not have anything?” he said.
Part of the money was supposed to go toward the car being wrapped with the advertisement.
“What do they mean wrap? I signed up for a decal, like maybe a 6 by 4 not a 100 by 50,” Serio said.
He grew suspicious and called the bank listed on the check. They confirmed the checks were fake.
“I thought if I’m out there and I’m educated with two degrees, there’s other people that aren’t so well off, they’re maybe going to get caught in something,” he said.
This type of scheme can come in many forms. If someone gives you a check and you’re supposed to pay someone else with part of the money, it’s likely a scheme.