Omaha woman warns others about McCafe car decal scam

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The pandemic is causing higher costs, and to make ends meet, some people are looking for ways to earn extra money. But beware of phony offers.

A social media offer to put magnetic McCafe decals on her car and get paid for is a combo deal Ruth Patterson considered.

“After I pay bills out of my disability check, it’s very enticing to get extra money,” said Ruth.

She received a check for nearly $3,000 followed by text instructions to deposit in her checking account and keep $500 as payment.

“Then I’m to take some back out and send it to someone else, supposedly the person who has the decals,” said Ruth.

Her hesitation led to several text messages a day asking to let the scammer know once she deposited the check. After you cash the phony check, the decal doesn’t show up but the scammer already has your money because they’re using a more sophisticated method in this scam.

The Better Busines Bureau finds that scammers are telling victims to use phone apps.

“It’s so much easier now to target folks because they don’t have to go to Western Union or run off to find the MoneyGram counter, they can just use Cash App or Zelle, move the money, and boom it’s gone,” said Jim Hegarty, BBB.

The check doesn’t come from a vendor but a California lawyer who closed the account years ago and says by phone that several scam victims are calling him now.

“Typically older people and they all ask ‘is this legitimate, should I cash this check’ and I said, ‘do not cash that check, report it to your local authorities, it is a scam,’” said Thomas Lord.

So Ruth says it’s best to hand over the check to a postal inspector instead of a bank teller.

“I believe this check is going to bounce and I’ll be on the hook for almost $3,000, and I can’t do that,” said Ruth.

She’s warning others that the magnetic car decal offer will leave you stuck covering a phony check. The California attorney says that the bank reported five people have tried to cash the forged checks tied to his closed account.

6 News asked McDonald’s Corporate Office about scammers misusing the McCafe and received this response: “We do not engage in marketing of this kind; this promotion is not authorized by McDonald’s.”

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