The Rap on Car Wrap Scams

A new variation of the fake check scam is making the rounds. It works like this: scammers place ads on the internet or send mass emails to attract people looking for extra money. They claim they will pay to shrink-wrap your car with an advertisement of a popular company. All you have to do is drive your car as you normally would. 

An easy way to increase your income? Only if you’re a scammer. For the recipient, it’s a losing proposition.  

The scammers promise to pay you a certain amount to “rent” the space on your car, but they send you a check for more than that amount. They tell you to deposit the check, take your share of the money, and wire the rest of it to the company that will wrap your car. Weeks after you wire the money, which could be thousands of dollars, you find out the deposited check was a fake.

It takes only a few days for your bank to make the money available to you, but it can take weeks for your bank to determine that a check is a fake. You are responsible for any check you deposit: when a check turns out to be a fake, you have to pay the bank back. 

These four tips will help you avoid the hassle altogether.  

  1. If someone urges you to wire money, it’s probably a scam. Con artists often insist that people wire money because it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction and follow the money.
  2. Don’t send money to someone you don’t know, either in cash or through a wire transfer service. Consider using a payment option that provides protection.
  3. Don’t agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then wire money back. No matter how convincing the story, it’s a lie.  
  4. Don’t respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial information, regardless of whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text, or an ad.  

Should you get an offer that requires you to deposit a check and wire money back:

  • Throw it out. Legitimate companies don’t pay you by asking you to wire money to them. If you’re tempted to investigate the offer, ask for a check drawn from a local bank or local branch. Then, visit the bank in person, give them the check, but don’t withdraw any funds until your bank tells you the check is valid.

Comments

I just had this happen but asked my bank about the check before doing anything with it. I have also saved all the emails and info. Where can I report this scam and let the business named on the check know I have it.

thank you

You can file a complaint about this scam at ftc.gov/complaint.

You also may be able to alert the business named on the check by visiting the company's website and looking for a "contact us" link. 

The very same thing happened to me, I even emailed the company that was on the check and never received a reply, I have reported this to scambook.com, they are working with me for a possible resolution.

The FBI is always interested in these kinds of scams. Take the check, and any correspondence, written or e-mail, to the nearest FBI office or to your local police department if no FBI office nearby. Ask your local police to forward it to the FBI Internet Fraud division. Most police are willing to do that.

Its bacccckkk! I just had that happen to me and now Im freaking out because my name is out there with my address and isnt that all they need to really wreck havoc on your life? So watch out!

2 places have recently tried to do this to me.
They are using Jet Blue Airline and NOS Energy
Drinks. Possibly targeting the unemployed.

I had it happen to me. I got a job opportunity (or so I thought) and the company sent me what appeared to be genuine U.S. Postal money orders (they even had the water mark)as an upfront payment for my services, though they had not even told me what the job would be yet. I did not think it was a scam because they were sending me the checks first. I took the checks to my bank to deposit them. I had briefly scammed over the letter that came with the money orders but I had a lot of errands to do that day so I rushed to deposit the checks and ten minutes later my bank teller was waiting on the bank manager, then they told me they closed my bank account because the checks were fake! I was so mad because they closed my account. I decided to go to the post office to see if they thought the money orders were real or not..they said they were not and the way that they could tell was not by the appearance because they looked real but each one was made out for more than 900 dollars and the post master informed me that postal money orders are never for more than five hundred. I went to the police but they did not appear to know what to do about it either and I have since opened a new bank account with another bank. I also wrote back to the company telling them what happened (and not too nicely either) they assured me there must be some mistake and still wanted me to go somewhere and cash the checks!! I told them I gave them to the Police and a copy of their email transactions with me and I have not heard anything from the police or the crooks ever since. Thank God I could not cash them..I could have ended up in jail plus owing the bank.

One of the biggest clues that it's a scam is if they send you too much more or pay your first. Where on Earth can you find a legit job that throws money at people and trusts they'll show up for work?

I rcd one of those Car Wrap emails also but it sounded too good to be true even though you can be easily persuaded to give it a try. Anytime they mention YOU deposit a chk or moneygram, money order or whatever and YOU send the rest to someone else, that sounds odd to me. Any Reputable company does not do business this way.

Was almost a victim. My family has fallen on some hard times and husband was looking for extra work and got this e-mail and signed up. Next thing you know we get a check that was sent certified mail for $2650. the next day they tell us to keep $500 and wire $2650 to a company in tennessee. If i am in nevada, why am i send the money to tennesse to wrap the car. red flag 1. they also tell us it has to be done that day and send us some nasty e-mails when we teell them our bank won't release the funds until the next Friday. Checked my bank account and, sure enough, the money has been removed from my bank account and it says "returned/fraudalent check" in the notes. luckily for us, we are not actually out any money except the $25 returned check fee. I am ok with that.

hello, i just recently recieved an email for car wraping company, i replied and two weeks later i recieved a check for 2,450.00 i was very surprised because it was a just a check i received with no instructions. I left out of town that day and left the check at home, but i received various of emails from this company asking me to depsit the cehck and wire the money to a Sara Hess in WV i was alarmed and decided to check online about frauds just because the way of them going about me wirering the money to a diffrent state if the check is coming from a company in called Tooling Technlogy in OH, i thank god i checked firts and follow my gut instinct. Iam glad i read this first before taking any action, i wasnt desperate for money beacuse of the fact i was just looking to make extra to pay off some school loans, that the reasong i did not deposit the check so fast, iam going to take this check and emails to someone who can verify is this check is fake, ih ave not responded for the emails, but i just recently received a txt msg from a 909 area code that is in corona. This is all just making sense now. But thank you for posting this it made me very aware of this is all a scam, THANK YOU A MILLION!!!

Did u have to pay all that money back?

I too had this happen.....rec'd the checks (2) within 2 days. I deposited the first one and waited to see if it would clear...it did and the next day it was put on hold. I kindly wrote back to the "Company" and told them my bank declined the check.

You cannot trust anything in your email anymore.

Just had this happen to me! The only good thing about the scam was I didn't pay them one dime. By the way My bank was absolutley no help! car wrap is a total scam read these comments and beware. Tell your family and friends!

LET'S SCAM THE SCAMMERS! I have decided to get even with the scammers. Every time I get an email with an offer to car wrap my car, I answer YES and make them send me the FAKE check via UPS. Once I get the check, I tell them it has been deposited and give them a FAKE Western Union Money Transfer Number. When they reply that the number in no good, I tell them they have been scammed. I have filed all kinds of complaints and have talked to my local FBI and Police offices, but there is nothing they can do. At least, I am getting even by wasting their time and money by having to send their check via UPS. So far I got 5 suckers to send me their FAKE checks. Have some fun!

Sounds like an excellent idea if i had the time to do so, if everyone were to do this, it would shut these folks down instantly.

I just got an offer this week I will do what u said get back at them thank,you

I JUST received my check in the mail. Nothing with it. No instructions, nothing! I had actually went looking to make extra money on line. I couldn't even tell you where I saw the ad but thought Ill give it a shot. I thought it sounded so easy and to good to be true. Was my luck changing?? I answered their email that I would do it, went on vacation, came back, check my email and there was no reply. I guessed they weren't interested. I used an email account that I normally don't use, so I didn't go back into that email account for a week. Saturday morning I check the mail, and there is a "EXPRESS MAIL" from MELVIN NATHAN, FREELAND PET SEA FOOD,3949 ALHAMBIA ST, FT LAUDERDALE, FL 33304..A check inside FOR $2,430.00 and nothing else. The check itself was from a Company "TWIST INC.". Address, 47 SOUTH LIMESTONE ST., JAMESTOWN, PA 45336. My boyfriend and I looked at each other and then tried to figure out where it came from. After looking up the return address and then the name on the check...which by the way one address was a restaurant had nothing to do with a pet food company. The other address, the one on the check, was something completely different. Then I remembered the car wrap thing and remembered they said they would send the check in advance. After checking that email box I found the letter about them sending this check. I was to keep $300 and wiring the balance to an account. Of course by them we were really skeptical and goggled car wrap scams .. and WA LA found this site. I haven't don't anything yet, like take it to the police or FBI. I may take it into my bank and let them do the investigation.

If you haven't yet, make sure you file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint!

When I get an obviously fake email from people like the car wrap scammers I reply as though I am interested but for my name and mailing address I use:
Mr. J. Edgar Hoover
935 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20535
202-324-3000

Notice anything familiar about that address? It is the headquarters of the FBI in Washington!

Be careful out there...

This happened to me. I response to an ad on craigslist to make extra money. He told me that he would do a wrap advertising on my car, first I would have to send money first to get weekly installments. Sent me a $2400 fake check, which I deposited in my account and it went through. However, I read the email wrong I sent a guy in Florida $350. I was suppose to keep $350 for myself and send the rest of the money off. The next day they texted me with all these rude text message and told me to send the rest of the money. I tried to call of three of the numbers that they texted me from but no answer. So, later that day the so-called boss called me telling me to send the money. But by that time I was skeptical because I knew that this was not a real company by their behavior. And I thought everything through and realized that I been scammed out of $350. I reported the incident to my local police department, Western Union, FTC, ic3.gov, and many other agencies. I should have done my research. Please don't fall for this scam.

I received an email requesting personal information. They promised to pay me $500.00 a week to advertise Monster Energy drink on my car.
I immediately called Monster Energy and they told me it was a scam. I have saved the email from the scammer should you need it as proof in the future. thank you.

Yep, same thing here. Just got off phone with corporate office, it's a scam. Love Monster drink, so thought cool....but again, its a scam!

I received also offer from monster drink but thought it was to easy so I called the main offices of monster drink and was told it was fake.

Can you send me a copy of your email form the scammer?

I was scammed also. Boy do I feel stupid. Police etc have been notified.

Just happened to me. Hope there's a way to stop this scam.

My girlfriend forwarded an email asking me if my step son wanted to make extra $. It was supposedly from Monster Energy Drink asking if anyone in my area wanted to make extra $ by having a car wrap put on car. After a few emails back and forth saying he had been excepted in a weeks time a check came in the mail for $2440.00 (priority mail). I had no idea what the check was for. It had Oak Ridge Assoc. Universities Inc. where it was from. I thought maybe my step son had won a scholarship because he is in last year of High School. Nothing else is in envelope. Then I go to my computer and there is an email from the person communicating with me about the job that a check for $2840.00 is coming with a tracking # and let them know when I get it and that I must cash it within 24 hrs. and send Western Union a check drawn on my bank for the amount minus $500.00 and the Western Union charge and this is for the cost of the decal and they give me a name and address of someone in Ca. that I should send the check to. Once they say western Union and that I should mail a check, I figure it's got to be a scam, so I write back on the computer can not send a check and they write back if I am uncomfortable to send a check I should send cash. I am posting this because this scam I thought was elaborate and anyone young or old could fall for this. I filed a complaint with the FTC and also wrote Monster Energy Drink and they could not have been nicer telling me to file the complaints and hold onto all the correspndence for local police authorities.

My son just got one of these checks by Priority Mail. Now it's time to scam these creeps back. Here's how; Once you get the check tell them you have no bank account and you live in the country and there is no western Union close to you. Tell them you could send cash by mail as your mail carrier picks up and that they need to send you a postage prepaid envelope. Then, when they agree (and they will), send them the amount thay are requesting, NOT in real money, but Monopoly money. Just copy or scan and print out the amount they want in Monopoly money and mail it to them (DO NOT copy real money and send it, that would be a Felony crime that could get you in hot water). Now, you have cost them the mailing of the check and the cost of the second mailing of the postage prepaid envelope. Now that we have the prepaid envelope with an address, we dropped it off at the Sheriff's office and they are communicating with the FBI to try and track them.

Beware of too easy away to make $

I also was looking for PT work on Craigslist & replied to the MONSTER ENERGY DRINK CAR WRAP SCAM. They sent a $3000.check & then 3 days later another $3000 Check came i dont plan on even trying to attempt to cash them now. But i came close & what a train wreck that would of been. I WILL BE MAKING Any & All Reports I can, to everyone i can.

I have received this scam and need to report it. I have phone Monster and they emailed all the information I need to report them.

I must be a magnet for these types of offers scams, I have enough bad paper to cover a wall. I am glad that the word is out and wish we could see that something was really in place to stop these people.

I was contacted also about a monster drink car wrap, I have not received the check yet, but thought I would double check with Monster Drink and they informed me it was a scam. I'm retired and thought that this would be great, it would pay for my gas and travel expenses. Sure am glad I checked this out. What does one do when the check gets here?

You can file a complaint with the FTC about this scam. Find out at  ftc.gov/complaint where you can send the check and any other information you have about this. If you don't want to file a complaint, discard the check.

I had this happen to me. Sounded so legit. I recieved my check for $2,350 2 days ago. All they sent with the check was a piece of paper prompting me to check my e-mail for further instruction. They told me all the same things they told all of you. Deposit the check, deduct $500 for myself and wire the rest of the money to the car wrap "specialist". I got on here and seen all these comments. So I told them I didn't have a bank account and asked them for a number I could speak with someone at. They sent me an email telling me just to cash the check and they didn't give me a phone number. I haven't done anything with the checks and I have not emailed them since, but I checked my email today and whata you know. I have a threatening e-mail on there sayin - that I've kept silent, and that I'm acting funny with their money and that they are going to get the FBI involved and track me down. I gotta admit, I'm a little worried lol. What do I do?

Resist the urge to cash this check because this sounds like a fake check scam. You can read more about these types of scams here. Report it to the FTC or to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), which also has information on various fake check scams.

Dont forget to request to have their email account closed and banned....

save the 1000 others, they are scamming from making the same mistake you just made or about to make...

if you get their email blocked,
and if yahoo, gmail, hotmail stop giving these same criminals with the same computer / network card mac address over and over and over....

these scams would not exist...
the problem is companies like
facebook
yahoo
google
hotmail
pinger
skype, etc

and the 100 other sites that allow criminals to create millions of fake accounts, identities to hide behind and do it repetitively,

over, over, over and tHEY take no action to block them.. when they can block them before they EVER CREATE THE ACCOUNT

It is so easy... to identify and block them
AND CHEAPER to block them
then to constantly ... respond to the complaints

Wonder why they don't ?
ask yourself...
or them.... WHY they DO NOT DO WHAT MORALLY, ETHICALLY THEY SHOULD DO....
THEY WILL NOT ANSWER

I got scammed by this car wrap job for Moster Drink. I though it was a refund from my title company on my house. I research the check and it was a title company , I deposited the check and it cleared in 24 hours. I send money to Weston Union to a Miguel Romero in Oaland Ca. Than two days later I get a email that he had an car accident and to go back to Weston union to resend the money to Lore Wayne. Mind you than I get a second check for the same amount of the first one $1,750.35 . When I go to Westen Union the has been picked up, so I text this people than have the money. But than I call Westen Union and the money is still there I get Refund of $1,250.35 , but no flags when up I send the money Found out yesterday that the check was a fake, and that now I own my bank this money. Plus $ 12 return fee , the $500 for my weekly paid when to my church to help fit the sidewalk . I asked my bank before I took the money out if the check cleared , and the teller said yes, so I though it was ok, however yesterday I was told by the teller that chase bank clears all checks by 24 hours so that you have the money although it's not cleared by the company that issues it. Now I waiting to see how I can work with my bank to pay this money back. Furthermore the guy who send the email goes by Ruben Peters, and I think there are also using Red Bull for car wrap. I called monster drink after the fact and learned its a scam. I posted my in Facebook to warn people. And I know it's a matter of time that these people will be caught, I trust God for this.

Thanks for sharing your experience. As you learned, it can take some time to discover that a check is a forgery. The best thing to do is wait until the bank confirms that the check has cleared. This article from the FTC has more information on fake checks and it explains why funds could be available before the check has cleared. You can file a complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint and report this car wrap scam.

I ran into this with the red bull shrink wrap advertising scam. I knew there was a 90% probability that it was a scam but decided I would play along until the scam was obvious. When they sent an email indicating that they would send me a large check and that I would send them part of it back, I emailed them "scams up cancel". I received the check any way. I ignored it. Now they are threatening me with legal action. I am ignoring that also. I'm a little concerned that they may have grounds for judgment of some sort. I'm pretty sure that they will eventually go away if I continue to ignore them because its obvious that I would win in any kind of legitimate legal action. I'm still not completely sure that they can't cause me some kind of trouble

Just received the first check. After reading all these complaints i decided to email the original respondant that im returning the check and will not be presenting it to my bank

These people actually took out a 1/8 page advertisement in our local weekly newspaper so I thought this was a legitimate way to earn extra money. I've seen cars with these ads on them so I thought, "why not" I could quit my second job. Long story short, I got an email asking a lot of inappropriate questions like my occupation, gender, age, etc., so I googled car wrap scams and found tons of postings about it. I like the idea of trying to scam them back, but decided to file a complaint with the FTC and also notify the local paper instead. I already have to work 60 hours a week to make ends meet, I don't have time to spend scamming them back. Good luck to all of you who can, go get them for the rest of us!

I am currently talking to a guy about car wrapping. He posted an add on craigslist and I responded. He told me he would send money in advance and to fallow instructions when I receive the check. Having read all previous comments on this page before, I asked him if I would have wire any money. He said no and that once I cash my check to call a # and that a person would come out to my house and wrap it there and that I was to pay that individual once the wrapping was done. Is this still a scam??

Yes. This sounds like it is a scam. Learn about fake checks here.

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