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The Barn Wrap Scam


RURALVILLE – Red “Mort” Rousche’s barn was located on a country road, with hayfields on both sides. Once a red barn, then a white barn, the paint had worn away. The wooden boards were deteriorating, and the metal pieces were rusted. The barn did what it was intended to do, which was to store hay.

Then one day, while Red was on social media taking a quiz to figure out what his spirit tractor was [turned out to be a New Holland], he received a message from an advertising firm. The firm had seen his magnificent haybarn and wanted to know if he would be interested in advertising.

“WRAP YOUR BARN TODAY and MAKE MORE MONEY,” the email said. Hotdog, thought Red. That old barn could make him some extra money? Then he noticed the brand they were advertising. It was his favorite bib overall company, Denim Don’s! This would show farmer Heinz down the street that Denim Don’s was the best.

He relayed his address; the advert agency said they would send a check in the mail.

A few days later, just like they said, a check came in the mail. It was for $10,000! All that Red had to do was to deposit it and send a portion through SPDPAY, a hip new payment method all the city folk were using. Once he sent $8,000 of the $10,000 to a “Barn Wrap” specialist, they would schedule time to put a big Denim Don Man on his barn! Then the advertisement agency would continue to send him $500 every week that he had it up on the barn.

Red deposited the check the day he got it, with funds being made available the next day. The check must have been good, right? He signed up for SPDPAY to get the money to the “Barn Wrap” specialist. But just before he was about to send the payment, his bank called him.

“This is Jenny from Ruralville Bank and Trust. Can I speak to Red?”

“Hi Jenny. Red speaking.”

“I was calling about the recent check you deposited.”

“I’m using my barn to advertise. It is a great deal! I’m just about to send the payment now.”

“Red, don’t send it. This is a new scam targeting farmers like yourself.” This took Farmer Rousche by surprise.

“What do you mean? The money’s there…the check is good.”

“The check was made available. It is being returned by the other bank as a counterfeit item.”

“So it was all fake? What would have happened if I would have sent the funds?”

“If you had sent the money before the check returned, the payment would have gone through, and the returned check would have overdrawn the account.” Red understood now.

“You stopped me just in time! How can I thank you?”

“Just doing my job. Watch out in the future for those scams and do not engage the scammer anymore,” said Jenny from Ruralville Bank and Trust. Jenny helped to intervene just in time. Red was thankful. He realized he would not have a Denim Don Man advertising overalls on his barn. It was a slight disappointment, but upon closer reflection, it was probably time to paint the old barn…red.

Barn Wrap Scams Are Not a Thing

Granted, Red’s story is an optimal outcome for a scam. Also, there is no current barn scheme targeting those in agriculture. However, the dreaded Car Wrap Scam is similar in how it works, targeting younger consumers and early drivers. Bad check schemes can be deceptive to consumers in general because they believe that funds availability is the same thing as cleared funds…it isn’t, and the outcome can be costly.

For more information on the Car Wrap Scam, check out https://www.fraudwit.com/post/how-a-car-wrap-scam-works.


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