A warning has been issued by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) about an email and text offer making the rounds in Calgary.
Chris Anhorn is a truck driver and work has been slow, so when he got a text with an offer to make $300 to use his truck for advertising, he was interested.
“It’s for a minimum of four weeks to a maximum of four months, so that’s pretty inviting,” Anhorn said. “When you put the numbers together, it can sure help catch up on some bills and it would be nice to have a little more pocket money.”
He asked for more information and received a contract offer from what looked like Kellogg’s Canada in Ontario (scroll down to read the ‘contract’).
He was even sent pictures of how the car wrap ads would look on his vehicle.
Anhorn said it all looked professional, but got suspicious when he was sent a cheque for $5,700 to cover his first $300 payment, then was told to cash it and wire the rest to the wrap company for the advertisement.
That’s the red flag for the BBB, where staff have been taking calls from people about the offer.
“Once you take that cheque to the bank to be cashed, it is fraudulent and it will bounce,” said Leah Brownridge, with the BBB.
“That’s when you find yourself on the hook to pay that money back to the bank.”
The owner of Dream Image Signs in Calgary has seen the offers, too.
Roberto Gomez says if legitimate companies want to advertise, they will use their own employees or wrap their own vehicles.
“It’s not likely that companies like Kellogg’s or Coca Cola are going to contact random people to put their graphics on their vehicles,” Gomez said.
Global News has learned of at least one person who lost $5,000 after cashing the cheque and wiring money.
Anhorn wants to make sure no one else gets fooled.
“It doesn’t hurt to ask questions. Questions are free. If it’s too good to be true, ask.”
Read below: An example of a contract sent by the scammers