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.

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?

Did they check ever bounce?? What happened??

If this is legit where do i go to apply?

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.

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.

The car wrap scam is happening again it has happened to me and my husband wanting us to wrap our car for amp energy

I have been going back and forth w this amp energy drink thing I seen an add posted for getting paid to advertise and thought since I drive around the state I will let them wrap my car for a small fee well today I got a check in the mail for $2250.00 lol. Umm this has happened to me b 4 as I took the check to the bank it was from and half the routing number was missing otherwise they would've cashed it. That was a scam and iam pretty sure this is to. Iam looking into it as we speak Keep 600 and another 50 for gas he said then have to text another number for further instructions. Christ Wat is wrong w people Nobody wants to work for a living anymore just go rip off the world omg. I will get back to everyone wen I find out Wat this is so keep an eye out for this amp wrap your car scam. It a has to be one

oh wow, they really got you? im so sorry to hear that. they got me too, i really need a job bad so i was desperate and thought this was the 1 shot ive been waiting for. spent the last of the money i had, dropped my car off at "this shop" to get it wrapped and it was stolen from them, nobody at the garage had any idea what i was talking about. now insurance is giving me a hard time. i dont know what i can do, cant even put food on the table for my girls, im done. dont let it happen to you i guess

It's happening to me as we speak through text but texts numbers keep changing and instead of the header saying Energy it now says Eneryy and they promise $450 weekly will send check in amount of $1950 gonna set me up with a vendor to wrap vehicle, whether a scam or not anyone trying to cash a bogus check should not be allowed. My financial institutions all want checks to sit and be cleared.

Yep, got an email today!!

Have been in contact with a gentleman that says Gatorade will wrap. The same scenario is occurring. Going on the blocked email list now.

I received a text today from someone who said she represented Gatorade. I’m so glad I checked here to see if it was legit.

I got a message from hublut or something like that. Anyways they told me to wait for the check to clear and then they send the vendors to my place or if i had a faststart i think it is go to them and pay them and then send the depost slip to them. Is it fake?

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?

I got the same. I though it was legit but now I have to believe it's a scam. They asked me to deposit it and send confirmation. If I get a check. I will send a copy to the ftc. It's a hustle.

Are any of the car wrapping advertisements real?

I reckon they are real , But you aint fixin to get paid nutin

I would think very rarely. A company would save money wrapping their own property. And we " free" prizes they give the consumer( bumper stickers, window decals, tshirts, glasses, sunglasses, etc.) Is free advertising, so really no reason too. If they're a start up, they would be goimng smaller.

Thanks for information, God bless all of you keeping us safe

Why would anyone want their car shrink wrapped?

Its not shrinked wrap, its an advertising banner but its using the wrap technology that would allow banner to stick to your car

I have personally know one to get their truck "shrunk wrapped" the ENTIRE TRUCK ASIDE of lights ect.. they had a 3 he contract agreement for advertising. The truck owner (smart I say!) "SOLD" PLACES in truck i.e. front back quarters. Tail hate hood and doors of which they all came upon an agreed wrap. Then he had the truck "shrink wrapped" the amount from the advertising pd his payments for truck w cash to boot! Pd off his truck in 3 yes. AT the end of 3 yr contract he "peeled" off the wrap to unveil a truck that looked brand New! Truck tailored a boat daily that was in and out of salt water. No scratches, dings or any other mars were found in the trucks finish. Soooo maybe if properly researched this sort of wrapping can protect your vehicle longer?? As well as potential profit bearing? Id food for thought.

In the hopes of making a few extra dollars. I am on disability and would love to help out my hard working husband any way I can. I've always been a hard worker, but am unable to do that now so I thought, I can drive around with a wrapped car.

Hello were you able to wrap your car and get paid?

All this that is happening are these scram getting catch.

This happened to me. Mystery Shopper, caused me a lot of grief and Money. Thank you for watching out for us.

I've had the same thing happen to me with mystery shopper and it messed up my account.

Lovelygirl I they're alot good company's that actually pay you to be a mystery shopper. I work one that also host other jobs.

Is their any real work at home jobs ?

Yes. Get a degree in IT and many companies allow you to work from home.

Thank you for the advice, did you know there's been a scam going around telling people who own company's that they are the water and power company telling them they need to pay them a certain amount of money, because if they don't they will turn off all power my perents used to own a buissiness and got tricked into this scam and I'm sure others have been tricked to.

We just apparently got scammed by a company out of McAllen,Texas calling themselves INFINITE PROPERTIES and TG WEALTH. They work through Real Estate companies as InvestorGroup helping Buyers who don't meet regular Home financing options. Am now having to file police report and go through Texas Attorney General and County District Attorney to pursue getting my down payment funds back. So far, ZERO RETURN.

Can you give me more info on these people? This is who we were going through as well. Haven't sent them money yet.

They say that your income is your credit and ask for down payment when you're going to do the contract. I recommend you not giving any money please so you don't become a victim as well. Texas 361.

Hello Ana in Texas I am going through the same thing with that company.

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