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The Rap on Car Wrap Scams

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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 received a check from FedEx supposedly from 5 Hour Energy. The very odd thing is that inside the envelope is an instruction letter on how to contact this person immediately after receiving this check! I immediately took the check to my bank, it took the bank manager approximately 1 second to recognize a fake check. First of all, the paper was way to thin and the print on the check was very odd looking! I have been messing with these scammers by telling them I deposited the check but I was too tired to do anything else today but tomorrow I would wire the money! They are going crazy! I love it, try to scam me again sucker!

I just got a check too..bank put check on hold so well see if it's fake or not. Reported to the FBI and unknowing people and companies they use. Figure they may get caught someday.

Hello there fellow readers, I hope to bring you guys another so called company to watch out for. My husband answered an ad on Craig's list. It was advertising "GET PAID TO DRIVE", wrap your car in Captain Morgan's logo, get paid $400.00 a week. They asked the following questions: my age, what my occupation was, what make, model and year my car was, and the address I wanted my check to be sent to. Just like all of your previous post..2 days later we receive a check in the mail for $1,900.00 . We were to cash the check , keep our initial payment of $400.00 then send the rest to a lady in Michigan. The check was from a real company and from a real bank. I was excited. We needed the extra cash and I was trying to convince my husband that it wasnt a fraud because we didnt have to send money first. The bank wouldnt cash a fake check right??? Wrong....always go with your gut. #2. A legit company will always want to meet you in person before sending you any type of cash.

Hey, I got an email perhaps a month and a half back asking if I would like to earn $400.00 per week to let them put an advertisement on my car, a Car Wrap. After I got it I went on line to see where in my area this could be done as I knew several companies that did this kind of work. After I read up on it here and found out it was a scam, I got back to the guy, Daniel Valderram, and told him yes I'd like that. I gave him the info he asked for. Nothing that isn't on line already. Yesterday I got my check so now I'm playing with him. They sent $2450.00 to me with the same deal, keep $400.00 for one week in advance and send the rest to the company that will schedule the wrapping. As others have noted, very poor grammar and spelling in all the emails. I sent him an email saying the bank says not to take the money out until they are sure that the check is real. Then I told him I was so excited to get my car wrapped that I was going to do it anyway. I asked if Western Union would accept a personnel check for the transaction or if I needed to give them cash? He wrote back and now he wants me to go to Walmart, someplace I never go, to buy some sort of MONEYPAK cards. Then I scratch off the back and let them know the 14 Digit code numbers along with the amount of each card. I guess the cards come in different amounts. He said this would be faster then Western Union and the cost was like $4.95 per card. I think he said each card is only available in $500.00 amounts so I'd need to buy as many as I needed to hit the $2,000.00 I'd need to send to them. The person that I'm send it to is in Pittsburgh PA. I have an address for them and everything. I did a check on the address and I found a beautiful house for sale at that location. I think my next move will be to say I went to my bank and after thinking about it I thought I'd save some money and I sent a money order which was free to the address for Lonnie Vearnon in PA. I bet this will blow his mind!

Reading through these comments it nakes me sad to see that people are that desperate and clueless to the fact that nothing in life is free. Why on earth would someone send you a M.O. and you not question why they would send fit to much and then ask you to send the extra back a different eay when they could of just sent it you through wire transfer in the first place. Is this the future of our country?

This economy sucks for good paying jobs at the moment. So for a chance to make some extra money to make ends meet is what some of us are trying to do. Besides its not a something for nothing thing. They are offering to rent space on our vehicles. I have to question of how much of an "intelligent citizen" you are to kick a person that is down and just looking for away to get back on their feet.

The names michael, shiela and some of the others I have encountered in a different scam. Beware. An ad and picture of a 4-8,000-dollarcar with a contact phone #. When you call you have to leave a return number. A text comes back saying he advertised this for his sister and gives a # to text her. She then wants you to send $ to an address saying you can pick up the vehicle at a specified military storage as she is currently deployed and can not be there to complete the transaction herself. This was supposed to take place in virginia. Smellin a rat I responded eagerly that my husband was happy to fly me out and that his friend at the pentagon would pick me up, we could meet at the storage and pentagon friend would be able to assist in case we encountered any snags. Never heard back after that. Lol. There is no industry these scammers wont attempt to exploit to get your $. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Ever hear of P2P?, pathway to prosperity? 20 years ago I and millions of others throughout the states and Europe were taken for billions. I, foolishly, lost $20,000. A valuable lesson. Nothing comes without a price.

HERE IS THE EMAIL SCAM I RECEIVED:
They sent me cashier's check FEDEX on Academy Bank for $2,830.00 which I was to keep $300 and send the rest to the person to put the graphics on my car. There was nothing else in the envelope. No company name for the graphics company. I left several voice mails and emails for Mr. Michael Underwood the person who reached out to me on email with no return calls but a couple returned emails. I ended up calling Monster Energy Drinks directly and asked if they had a Michael Underwood that worked for them and they said no. Then I told them about the scam and they said it's a scam and DO NOT CASH THE CHECK. So I was glad that I went with my gut and didn't rush to cash the check. I was going to use the $300 payment to make my past due car psyment so I am glad that I didn't do that.
Why do peple have to be so dishonest. GEEZ LOUISE!!
Rhoda Q from Minneapolis, MN
From: Monster Energy Drink® [mailto:hiringmanager@monsterautoadvert.com]
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014 5:43 AM
Subject: CONFIRMATION: Monster Energy Drink Auto Wrap Promo

Hello Again,

I am pleased to inform you that your information have been reviewed and your vehicle meets our criteria for this advertisement. Below are some questions you need to answer before we can proceed.

*How long do you intend to carry the advert on your Vehicle? 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 1 year?
*Do you drive your vehicle everyday?
*Have you crashed a vehicle between January 2013 till date?

More so, We will mail out the check payment for your first week of Monster Energy Drink Advertisement after receiving a reply from you with answer to the questions above and a confirmation that you are interested. Upon receiving the cashier's check, you are to go ahead and cash it at your local bank and deduct $300 which is the payment for the first week then have the balance sent to the graphic company's headquarters. They will be responsible for the advert placement on your vehicle and also the removal. They will be waiting to receive the funds in other to get the materials needed for the advert placement ready and also send a specialist. The specialist shall contact you as soon as the funds are received so as to schedule a perfect date and time to come for the placement which would last for 1 to 2 hours. It is the graphic company's policy that all funds should be in the name of the individual whose vehicle is to be wrapped so they can instruct the specialist based on the sender's information to avoid any misunderstandings except if a contract had already been reached. A case of Monster Energy Drink will be delivered to the address you provided once every week through out the period you will be carrying the wrap. The drinks are free and you can also share it with your friends if you like.

PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR INTEREST (YES/NO):
Acknowledge receipt of this email immediately.

Kind Regards,

Michael Underwood
(323) 364-5102
Advert Manager
Monster Energy Drink®

We appreciate your blog comment because it helps warn other people about this scam, but it’s not a formal complaint.You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. You can copy and paste the email in the complaint notes. Watch this video to learn more about how to report a scam and why it matters.

So i found an ad in the jobs section of Craig's list looking for honest hard working general laborers. It just had a number to text for details, i texted, then got a text asking me to email them instead. I do so and turns out they want me to put decals on my car advertising NEON ENERGY DRINKS, i did everything they asked and now they want to send me a check for 1950 bucks. What sent a red flag up was i am supposed to keep 400 bucks and give the rest to someone to apply the decals... weird stuff. I typed in neon energy drink car decals and found this scam site. Coincidence? I bet not.... to be on Craig's list doing this, these people are probably local right?

Happen to me too with neon energy drinks I even have the check but no bank account. Was wondering if it will cash at Walmart. Also if it does cash and doesn't clear later on wouldn't it be their fault if I have proof they tried to scam mee

If you deposit a fake check and withdraw money before the bank finds out the check is fake, you're responsible for what you take. When the bank finds out the check is fake, you'll have to repay all the money you withdrew.

 

I am a bit surprised that this scam is so successful with the horrible grammar and mis-spellings throughout. A professional company would never solicit a business relationship with the wording in the email. At least not from me.

Felt it was a scam, I played along, when they asked if I had a sent the wire transfer - I told them I changed my mind, thanks for the free money (I knew there was none).

My Daughter was recently scammed by these people and her bank in investigating her! Yesterday a recovery agent said they were sent to repo her car and it is linked to the shrink wrap place. she called the police and reported it. Wedon't no what else to do!

THEY ARE USING YAMAHA MOTOR COMPANY NOW

Keep an eye out for John Ross sending an email on behalf of monster energy drinks with a car wrap offer. John Ross is actually a super cross bike racer that Monster SPONSORS so it makes no sense that HE would be sending an email with this type of "opportunity"...plus it's linked back to a personal Hotmail account... These scammers just aren't as sharp as they NEVER used to be..smdh...sad.

Dealing with them now , in Arizona .. But now it's for remy Martin 406 624 9518 Fred Wyne is the name it uses.. They have my name my mailing address my age year and make of my vehicle .. Has anyone had their identity stolen because of this?

I received a text from 731 213-4645 message: Cover your vehicle witha monster energy drink logo and get 300 dollars every week.
Now they are trying to get victims on cell phones!!!!

Can someone provide me with the information I need to report this? I just fell for this scam as a graduate student and thought it sounded like a good way to earn a little extra money. Unfortunately, it's ended up costing me a lot. Any advice would be much appreciated!!!

Thanks,
Meghan

You can file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

It's important to submit a complaint because investigators from all over the country access the FTC's complaint database. Watch this video to learn more about how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters.

I am still recieving e mails offering to wrap my car for 300 dollars per week. I threaten them each time with this website.

I received a US postal priority package containing two money orders for $950 each to become a secret shopper. My first assignment was to evaluate a western unionand its staff etc... So this is another way Lonnie vearnon is scamming people. I thought I would warn people.

Robert Miller is the name they used with me. Behind the email was an Indian name. I asked why didn't Monster pay their own contractors and never received an answer. Going to report them and send the emails and check to the authorities. Low down, rotten people.. I also contacted Monster.. Glad I didn't cash the check.. Dodged that bullet to the head!! Praise God! Someone needs to do something about this.

I have been trying to contact JetBlue to check for a scam using there logo. I am so glad I found this site so I will not be one more poor soul ...No check received yet but I am about to send a e-mail to them and tell them how down right sorry they are to attact people in this way

Anyone got their identity stolen?

YEP! There's one one Craigslist now for monster energy. They sent me a check for $1600 and keep blowing my phone up asking when will I send the money... I'm not stupid and they only talk by text..

Recieve this email this morning. Reported it to the Monster Drink company and they wrote me back with many links to report it to. This is one of the links they gave me. Told me to save all corespondence that I have with them. I just responded to the email with I would be interested if you were not a freaking scam artist. You have been reported to the Monster Company as well as all authorities possible.

I received the email, responded that I was interested, answered a series of questions mainly about the car, sent these to the real sponsor (Monster Energy Drinks) and asked about it....that's how I found out about this website. :) Monster also provided links to where I can report this.

Car wrap scam! Recently, like many of you, have been contacted regarding this "wonderful easy money" opportunity. I replied like everyone else saying I am interested and gave them contact information for this program for DUB Magazine. Unfortunately, they have my information- name, address, e-mail and phone. Thanks to all of you, I will NOT be cashing the check that I should be receiving in the mail today. I am also going to contact DUB Magazine and notify them that their name is being used in a scam. I will be printing the emails and submitting them to the local FBI office. In addition I will let this person know after I have received the check that I will not be depositing it and I will be turning it over to the FBI. Here is the latest email I have received: 8/18/14

Hello,

How are you today, Hope your having a great day. The upfront payment check for
the Dub Magazine Car Wrap promotions has been sent to you
and the USPS confirmed that it will deliver to you today.
This is the tracking for confirmation-----(deleted)
The check covers an upfront payment for you, the
payment of the graphics man coming to wrap your vehicle and the
materials suitable to wrap your vehicle.

Get the check deposited at the bank when you receive it, the funds
will be made available in your account once the check clears, it
clears your bank the same day.
Take out and upfront payment of $300 and send the remainder
to the graphics man via western union. The graphics man isn't in
office right now, he is currently working on another vehicle at CA.
Once he picks up the funds, arrangement will be made immediately to
work on your car and he will be at your door in a day or two. He will
wrap your vehicle and also bring the contract to sign and every other
necessary paperworks.

This is the info of the graphics man to send the funds.
There is a transfer charge at the store, take out the transfer charges
and send the remainder, send the funds via money in minutes service
and send a pic of the western union receipt when you get it sent.
Looking forward to reading from you.

Thanks for your cooperation.

You can also file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint. Law enforcement from all over the country access the FTC's complaint database and use the complaints in their investigations. Watch this video to learn more about how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters.

It seems to me a simple fix...sending items with tracking numbers means there is an actual sender and video of the person sending it...I mean you can't do ANYTHING without being on camera so why is it taking so long to shut them down. Why not track the computer that is emailing these emails...this can be tricky if being bounced off different servers but this is the FBI we are talking about...why is it taking so long...where is the video of the scammer picking up his money from Western Union? I know it can take a while to investigate but if these scammers are actually getting cash from this then there is evidence of it...video evidence.

Ok so I was recently a victim of this scam, I have heard of these car wrap things before with the legitimate companies in my area so I took my opportunity. They sent me a check for $2,660 so I ran it through my bank cashing it. I did everything I was told to do also keeping the first $500 for my first "payment" paying off all my credit cards. 3 days later I checked my bank and I was withdrawn by $2,556. So now unlike the rest of the people I've seen on here just giving up and letting these scammers do this to people, I am hellbent on spending all of my time hunting these people down and taking everything from them. You all have to understand that they not only stole from me but they also took food out of my 2 kids mouths. Now you have messed with my family. I plan on taking each one of these individuals down and making lots of money off of it. If anyone wants to help me please feel free to give me a reply and I will give you some info. Thanks to everyone!

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. If the check came through the U.S. mail, and you believe it's fraudulent you can submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You also can alert your state Attorney General.

This is to >I will find them< I am with you on this! I just wrote in that I am going to wait for the next e-mail, then tell them my car broke down and they will have to come to my house to pick up their money...The END!!!

hello my friend i just read your comment how you got screwed I just received a check from the same people as you did and was thinking of doing the same thing only thing that stopped me from going forward with it was I googled Photos of red bill advertising car look like and when it came up just below it was this, Police warn public of advertising scam, just glad i found this or I would be screw out of money that i don't have, if you need anything that I have that will help you just let me know i sure hope you can get your revenge and so satisfaction for what the SOB's did to you, You can email me

We don't post personal information, including email addresses.

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you provide goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

Hello, I sent composing to ftc & fbi online. Who should I turn the check into,? I read about scam online and did not deposit the check.

You may want to ask the FBI, Postal Inspection service or your bank about the check.

Unfortunately I deposited the check they sent me and the bank held if for 10 days and it came back fraud and now we have to close our bank account. They said it was suspicious activity. It's not their fault they are just trying to protect the bank and I understand that, it's just that we have everything coming thru our bank and my Social Security check as well. This really sucks. I am glad at least you found out.

they just used our company's check to pay someone, who was nice enough to inform us about it. same thing..."Monster Drink" company and the fedex package came from a Shawn Williams, who actually answered my call when we called. the number that he used was 715.303.7775 if anyone wants to call Mr. Williams. We've closed our account with the bank, but didn't fall for this and the banks haven't cashed any of their checks.

If there is anyone interested my husband received a check, but we were smart enough to take it to the bank; however they are back on Craigslist looking for more people to steal from. I hope everyone who gets one of these checks takes it straight to the bank or the police. These people are real scum.

I also recvd a 2200.00 dollar check the person who emailed me didn't hv good grammer and I thought it was too good to be true, I told them to cancel but they sent the check ups also I di not cash I threw it away after tearing it up. they are using HP Computers name so beware I also almost made the mistake but when the guy said to forward the western union I said oh oh this is not correct so im glad I didn't do it YAY!!!

Received a survey request from PineCone requesting I send a check for $1550 via Western Union to a third party. That information would be forthcoming as to where to send the check when I clicked on the link (which I did not). They would send me a check for $200 after surveying Western Union and for paying the fees once I completed the transaction. Notified PineCone Surveys about the scam. Supposedly I would be paid $200 for each survey I conducted. Anyone needing money would comply and be out the $1550 they are requesting.

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. We appreciate your blog comment because it helps warn other people about this scam, but it’s not a formal complaint. The details in this comment are great for a complaint. Watch this video to learn more about how to report a scam and why it matters. Thanks.

I saw an ad on Craigslist in my area to drive 7 hours, get paid $13 an hour, plus $39 for gas. Then this evening I get 2 emails from car wraps advertising. I went on Google to check this company out, glad I did, but wish I had checked first before responding to their message with my information!! Smdh

Sent: Sep 1 2014 9:22PM
To: Monster Bev Corp
Subject: Fwd: Monster Advert Opportunity ( Wrap Your Car )

I received the email, below. Is this from your company?
Terry

Subj: Monster Advert Opportunity ( Wrap Your Car )

Earn $400 weekly with your car and valid driver's license for Monster Energy Drink putting Logo on your car for an advertisement. Email " monsterenergyinc@bellair.net " back if interested

Terry:

Thank you for taking the time to contact our company directly with your inquiry.

The email you received is not from Monster Energy. The email is part of a scam and we urge you not to participate or respond. Additional information about the scam maybe found on the Federal Trade Commission’s website at: www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/rap-car-wrap-scams.

We encourage you to report the email and file complaints with: The Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov/complaint); Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org); Federal Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov); the National Consumers League (www.fraud.org/complaint); your local law enforcement agency and your state attorney general's office.

We suggest that you preserve any and all communications with the scammers (for example, emails, checks, envelopes, and package tracking numbers). Such information may be useful to law enforcement agencies.

If you have any other questions please feel free to call us directly at 866-322-4466 extension 6466.

Thank you,

Monster Energy Company

I got the same Monster scam. Only it was 300 a week and from Martin Andrew; Hiring manager. monsterenergydrink

Terry, I got a similar email but ours was $500 but not once was the email from monster itself nor did the email address.

Cash the check at Walmart and keep the money... Tell them your bank fraud department has check... Walmart does nothing, scammers get nothing and you keep money :-)

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