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A Joplin Man Warns Others of an Online Mobile Billboard Scam - KOAM TV 7

A Joplin Man Warns Others of an Online Mobile Billboard Scam

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Joplin, MO -


Companies often use cars or trucks  as mobile billboards. So when Wayne “Rick”  Larson  was solicited  to put ads on his vehicles for pay, he jumped at the chance.

Larson said, "A sticker. You know I’d put a sticker on anything for five hundred dollars a week."

Larson received a check from the Institute for Human Services supposedly from a bank in Hawaii for more than twenty-four hundred dollars. It came to him overnight UPS, marked extremely urgent.
Larson explained, "It’s got a name and if you look up the zip code its Blue Springs, Missouri. That that kind of makes your think it might be good.”

Larson initially was going to advertise on his motorcycle  but when it sounded like a good deal he signed up his wife to put ads on his truck as well.

Larson said, "Her check was a cashier’s check. Something, to me cashier’s check, you can cash."

Emails told him to take  the check to the bank to hold for twenty-four hours and for him  to send them a deposit slip. Then money would be deposited. Then he should take out his fee and send a check for the rest for the amount for the car wrap to a Georgia address..

Larson reasoned, "Which meant I would be writing a check out of my account."

It was one of a number of red flags. Larson said, "They said they wanted a copy of my drivers license. That, I wasn’t gonna do that. 
I thought,  that’s not right.  Then, the way they worded their sentences  and stuff,  they didn’t really speak like they were from here."

       The  Missouri Attorney General’s office says other red flags are: odd email addresses, slightly altered logos from companies, and ‘click here’ options. They say, don't click those.
 The office said those license, check and deposit requests were all attempts to obtain the consumer's personal information.
They advise consumers to check the validity of an offer  first  by calling the company, which Larson did. 

He said, "I called Budweiser and they said  there was no way, they don’t do it."

 Officials at Sign Designs in Joplin,  which creates car wraps and other  logos, said using individual’s vehicles is too risky for businesses.
John Hipple, Sign Designs president said, "The danger for any business would be liability. If they call and say we want to advertise you’re your vehicles, what if you have a bad driving record or  you’re a bad driver. Anything  you can think of, no companies gonna want to do that and be liable for how you drive."

Larson believes the scammers target older people as his mother once fell victim. So, he hopes to give a warning.
He added, "I thought people should know before you get involved in one of these deals."

The attorney general’s office has lots of tips and a consumer protection hotline


 

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