MUSKOGEE, Okla. (KTUL) – A man is trying to warn people to protect their hard-earned money after he said he was able to avoid a "pay-to-drive" scheme.
Kenneth Claypool first received text messages last Thursday from an unfamiliar number asking if he would like to enroll in a Pay to Drive program.
“Which is where they pay you to put their logos on your vehicle, and I was like, 'OK, I’ll do it,'” he said.
He started texting back and forth with the number, eventually receiving a message he would have a check at his door by Tuesday. It even had a real tracking number.
“It all seemed legit,” he said.
Then, the messages started to seem a little iffy.
“He said it was going to be a $500 check, and then in the text message, it said it was $1,950,” said Claypool. “Then, he said $500 of it is for you and the remaining, which would be $1,450, would be for the installer to put a logo on the back of my vehicle. That’s a lot. It doesn’t even cost that much to get your windows tinted.”
He decided to still go along with it until the check arrived, then came the red flags.
“What caught my attention was it was mailed out of California but the company was out of North Carolina,” he said.
He looked up the California address, and it doesn’t exist.
The North Carolina company on the check is West Jefferson Office, Inc. but when searching online, we found that West Jefferson Office Equipment, Inc. shows up. The companies are both in the same town, but there’s a one word difference. The company on the check does not exist on the internet.
Claypool said he never tried to call the number texting him, so we did. It rings and goes to voicemail.
His name is also misspelled on the letter addressed to him and on the check. Both are missing the “P” in his last name.
He said there was one last defining moment when he knew his money was at risk.
“He was asking me to take a picture of the deposit slip, which gives all your information from your bank, and he wanted me to send a picture of that to him,” said Claypool.
That’s when he called the bank from where this check was issued.
“The bank informed me it was a closed account, and it was a scammed check,” said Claypool.
He went straight to the Muskogee Police Department to file an incident report.
Now, he just wants to make others aware.
“It’s all about keeping you safe and keeping your information safe,” he said. “I just hope that everybody just digs into it further. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
Muskogee police said they haven’t seen this before.
If you notice something that isn’t right in a situation like this, you should file an incident report with police and make a claim with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.