Police warn of car advertising scam

COLLEGEVILLE — Police are warning residents about an advertising scam after a Collegeville man almost fell victim to it’s empty promises.

According to police, the advertisement promises approximately $200 a week after people wrap their cars in vinyl that will display a logo for a company.

The advertisement, which ran in The Mercury, is similar to others displayed in papers in California and Idaho, police said.

The victim, who figured out he was the victim of a scam before he lost any money, told police he communicated with the suspects mainly through email and text messages but spoke to a person once on the phone.

A money order for $1,730 arrived for the victim from a Texas bank, police said. The suspects told the victim to deposit the money order, then send it to an address in Philadelphia. That is when the victim began to question the process, police said.

“We tell people that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” said. Sgt. Bruce Penuel of the Collegeville Police Department. “Residents need to be suspicious and cautious.”

Penuel said there is a business at the Philadelphia address, and the company is looking into any malpractice on the part of their employees.

For now, Penuel said their investigation will focus on any local victims and investigators have not contacted departments in California or Idaho. But, Penuel said, the bank in Texas said it recognized the address being used by the suspects.

“We want residents to be careful. We know these scams target the elderly as well as the under- and unemployed,” Penuel said.

Residents who think they are a victim of a scam should call their local police department.