How to spot a car wrap scam

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Have you seen ads promising easy money if you shrink-wrap your car — with ads for brands like Monster Energy, Red Bull, or Pepsi? The “company” behind the ads says all you have to do is deposit a check, use part of it to pay a specified shrink-wrap vendor, and drive around like you normally would. But don’t jump onto the bandwagon. It’s only easy money for the scammer who placed the ads.

How you spot the “offer”

You might see an ad on a job board or on social media. Or someone might send you a message — maybe because they saw your profile or resume on a job site.

How the scam works

The message says you’ll make a couple hundred bucks. But when the “company” sends you a check, it’s for much more than that — a couple thousand dollars. They tell you to deposit the check, keep part of it as your share, and wire the rest to another company that will wrap your car.

Weeks after you wire the money, the check bounces and your bank tells you it was a fake. The money you kept as “your share” disappears, and the money you wired is long gone — no getting it back. On top of that, you’re on the hook for paying your bank back for the fake check. And, of course, no one’s wrapping your car.

How you can tell it’s a scam

If you get a message urging you to deposit a check and wire money back, it’s a scam. Every time. No matter the story. And if this were a legitimate car wrap opportunity, wouldn’t the company directly pay the car-wrapping vendor, instead of asking you to do it?

Has this happened to you? File a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint — select Scams and Rip-offs, then Counterfeit Checks. Want to know more? Read our articles to learn how to spot variations on fake checks and money wiring scams.

Comments

Question: I have 2 phone lines available. Why don't YOU have a phone # that goes DIRECT to a person?? That way, when I get a robo-call, I could call YOU direct so you could trace the call while I played along with the robocaller. Maybe that way some of these clowns could be caught & prosecuted. TX

I'm with you-what can we do - is anyone ever prosecuted?

I contacted monster drinks they said they use company owned cars only and regular employees not the public or contractors.

Hello Coolcar46 my question is monster drinks do wrap people cars and pay them 350.00 dollars a week is a scam

Bull light are currently seeking to employ car owners world wide. you will need to carry this promotional advert on the exterior of your car and you will be compensated with $500 per week which is essentially a "rental"payment for letting our company use the space of your car, no application fees required from you. we would be paying you by check and would want you to get back to us with your Name: Street Address: City:and cell phone State: Zip code: to send you the check and also send your Age: Current Occupation: Make of car/ year:. We will contact you immediately we receive this information Note: We take full responsibility for placing and remove decal on your car and it will not resort to any damage. Thanks

Received this from one Andy Philips who posted on a Job board today. Says he work for Bud Light & from San Diego

I just got the same message from the same person

I got the same response. Did you look into it further? Do you know if this is a scam?

I’m hard on money an Christmas is coming so I signed up to get wrapped by Budweiser I sent them $1400 out of the $3900 check and then my little brother tells me check it out make sure it’s not a scam so I called the bank my bank and they told me the check hasn’t bounced so I called the guy back and I tell him is this some kind of scam or what and hangs up on me the letter said Robert Martinez. Head of operation:Exclusive Research LLC an He was using QRD Graphics

this is happening to me as we speak .. i told the guy i would not deposit the check into my account.. he said that was ok.. he said i could go and cash check at a check cashing place.. and then take my $500 and send the rest through money gram.. so if it’s a scam then i’m confused.. if i get my money first without having to mess with my bank account.. help me understand.

Weeks after you wire the money, the check bounces and your bank tells you it was a fake. The money you kept as “your share” disappears, and the money you wired is long gone — no getting it back. On top of that, you’re on the hook for paying your bank back for the fake check. And, of course, no one’s wrapping your car.

What I don’t understand is that a check needs to clear meaning the bank has cleared it with the bank on the check. How can they weeks later say it’s no good?

Under federal law, banks generally must make funds available to you from U.S. Treasury checks, most other governmental checks, and cashier’s checks, certified checks, and teller’s checks, a business day after you deposit the check.

For other checks, banks must make the first $200 available the day after you deposit the check. The remaining funds must be made available on the second business day after the deposit.

However, just because funds are available on a check you deposited does not mean the check is good. It’s best not to rely on money from any type of check (cashier, business or personal check, or money order) until the bank confirms that the check has cleared. It can take weeks to discover and untangle a forgery. Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check have been deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check.

Whenever you cash or deposit a check, you are taking the risk of whether or not it is legitimate. Someone in the gov't said one day to banks that you can't make people wait for their money, so the banks 'loan' you the value of the check until it clears, transferring the risk entirely onto you.

If you remember the days pre-debit and heavy credit card use, if you paid by check, stores would scan the check and run it against a database of known bad accounts or people who where notorious check bouncers to protect themselves from fraud.

While you can call the issuing bank to make sure the accounts associated with the check are legit, there is no way to insure that the check is not fraudulent.

If they ask youbtobkeep part of money and send thevrest somewherevelse it's a scam. I just got one and they didn't ask me to send money back but it is still probably a scam.

Did you cash the check at the check cashing place?

I would not trust it. You would still be liable to the check cashing place when it bounces and they may file charges. Age old working class rule....... there is no such thing as easy money.

So did you take it to the check cashing place? They just sent me a check for 3,000 I'm sure its a scam but I'm wondering if the check cashing place will still give me money?

OF COURSE IT IS A SCAM.

Yes, people are broke. Yes, it’s tempting.

NO, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS EASY FREAKING MONEY.

A check cashing store will take your id information. If the check they cash bounces, then they will sue you for the full amount, if you don't pay all of it back (plus add their interest rates) also they put it on your credit report!

They are using stolen checks. Same thing happened to me but I cought it before any damage was done,the check cleared but it didn't feel right so I did some digging and things didn't add up. I went to my bank and reported it and they said it is absolutely a scam. if you send the money to someone or spend it then you will be charged with with several felonies so don't do it and tell your bank and they will take care of it immediately and they will contact the people that the checks were stolen from to let them know that money has been taken out of the account and the bank will return it to them.

So grateful for this site. I almost fell for it. Got my $2900 cashier's check. When I started to look at all the different addresses they weren't the same.Do some of the research thru local car wrap companies,Better Business Bureau,look up up their website too Don't fall for this, Monstercaradvert @live. com

Did they check ever bounce?? What happened??

If this is legit where do i go to apply?

DUDE!!!!!!! READ THE REVIEWS....IT'S A SCAM!!!!!!!!

Rcvd exact message same person have check now but its written on cyber grant Aetna corporation account and came from Michigan state university even though phillips and his friend are in moss oak Cali. Looked up numbers they text from and found one has made almost half million while other has made almost 60000. Is it a scam or no

I was taken by a similar scam. One of the most important pieces of advice I received from the bank is this, if you suspect that the check is fraudulent, speak to a Bank Manager and explain the situation. They are able to fast process the check in these instances and know whether it is legitimate or not. In my case, I had deposited the check, and was told after three days that the funds were available in my account, so I waited another 3 days before touching the funds. A couple of days later, something told me something wasn't right and I went to the bank and asked them to verify the funds as I was concerned, and sure enough the check was bad. It was even drawn on Bank of America. These scam artists have this down to a science in replicating authenticate looking checks. Banks are only required to let you know when the funds are available in your account, not whether the check has cleared all systems. That can take up to 6 months. Which happened to a friend. 6 months after they had deposited a check, the bank came back and said that after extensive attempts to obtain the funds, the account was bad and that they would have to repay the funds.
These scammers are not only using Western Union and Money Gram they have started using PayPal as well.
As the police told me, never trust someone who over pays and tells you that you can keep the extra money. Good luck everyone and do your homework.

Sounds like the methods, timing of the banks gives scammers an edge. The recipient never gets the advantage of knowing on time if check is legit. Then the recipient is liable in court for the stupid banks "we can't verify that until ???"

Change the bank rules so we can do business and know for sure funds are available on a given check without the damned hassle of legal problems. Are we in a stupid country or what?

Under federal law, banks generally must make funds available to you from U.S. Treasury checks, most other governmental checks, and cashier’s checks, certified checks, and teller’s checks, one business day after you deposit the check.

For other checks, banks must make the first $200 available the day after you deposit the check. The rest of the money must be made available on the second business day after the deposit.

However, just because funds are available on a check you deposit doesn’t mean the check is good. You can't rely on the check being good until the bank confirms that the check has cleared. It can take weeks to discover and untangle a forgery. 

Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check are deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check.

You can call the bank the check is issued from and verify that the account numbers are legit and the bank account has a balance. That doesn't help determine if the withdrawal is legit though. The other party notices that a check was cashed against their account and initiates a fraud claim and then everything goes into limbo.

I got the same exact message from the same exact person. Did you ever find out if it was legitimate?

Was that a scam. I got one from Gatorade just like this.

My daughter received one from Gatorade today in a text message on her cell phone. Told her something this simple and good wasn't legal and probably a scam.

Got one from Gatorade as well, was yours a scam?

What happen is it still good?

I just got this but it says it's from ANHEUSER BUSCH what did you find out

I just got one from same place. Is this a scam as well??

I just got the same exact word for word message just a different name

Car wrap scam hit again this time it was “Dr Pepper “
The bank said it was a fraud check

Do you know of any legit companies out there?

I just got one from Budweiser a couple days ago. Saying they were going to send me the check for $500, and that they would send somebody out from Budweiser to wrap my car. They had mentioned that there's no deposits and no fees to start this up. However, I've been scammed so many times in the last year that I'm overwhelmed. I'm not really sure what the advantage is to them.

I just got my check $2000, today in the mail today. I contacted the "issuing company" and they laughed. It was from a Drilling Company in TX.
Then energy drink company allegedly was Rocky Mountain High. I am sure they have no clue they are being used in a scam.
Marcos Padron is very persistent that I cash my check and send him a money gram. LOL!

I justThad a Dr.Pepper company get back w me so how can i tell it is legit

I just filled out info for Dr Pepper also. Then I googled to see if it's a scam. Dang. I was hoping it was legit.

That's Phising ploy to get your personal information and then they open credit cards/ fraudulent accounts in your and run it up then never pay it and you are on the hook. It's an identity theft attempt.

Scammers might use job ads to get personal information, or to recruit people for jobs that seem legitimate, but really aren't. If someone misuses your personal information, report it at IdentityTheft.gov.

I got the same thing but it was for Amazon lol so I guess it's a fake?

is it asma mosa it is a scam asma

Monster Energy drinks are owned and distributed by the Coca-Cola company and it is true, they have their own cars and people... they do not hire outside drivers to advertise.

I do not pay attention to those calls. If it is a robot i hang up. I have had them go so far as to call and say. Thank you for holding. Good bye. Or please hold for the next available csr. I hang up. If they want to talk to me, make it a human being not a programed call machine that puts me on hold for an hour.

I've gotten a few robo calls(my answering machine pu ALL incoming calls) where they act like they are actually talking to someone, for instance they will ask "did I catch u at a bad time?", then even tho I say nothing they say "ok, great I will only take a few minutes of your time", I still say nothing, they say "would you spell your full name & address to be sure we have the info correct?" I say nothing but the call goes on for 5 minutes w/out me saying anything.
Robo calls from politicians at election time really get my goat! Thats an automatic NO vote for them.

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