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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.

Scam Tags:  Job 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 just gotta check from a company, saying its for my first weeks pay, which is supposed to be $400. But the check is for $1750. Its drawn on a bank in Alabama,& the acct info in the top corner is from some place that does returns for insurance over payments or premium adjustments ect. The senders return address is a p.o. box rental in los angeles, ca. When i tried actually calling the number that texted me, it went to an answering svc called "global connect" thats supposed to connect you to the number. Would it even do any good to contact the police?

I have someone Portraying Bud Ight car wrap as well. Through SMS text..#208-680-1299 .About 2 yrs ago. I had peope send me ov 9000 $ worth of checks for wrap techs to install on my car...I called one of the Banks (1500mi from my home).And they said its a scam throw the check away.?I was flabergasted the Bank Couldnt cared less about me or the actua acct info on the checks.

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

It’s a scam. Bud light isn’t doing this.

I kust received a check for 3000 something didnt add up
Googled it and my suspicion was right. I saw that budlight doesn't do that. Will check with my local pd in the morning

They almost got me but they gotta be quicker than that!!! People if it sounds to good to be true then it probably is

I just received the check today but I knew it sounded to good to be true.

Be very careful with these overpayment scams. Not only will the banks take back the money, they will also close your account and ban you from banking with them- forever- for being careless. You will be violating your agreement with them.

This happened to me.

The same thing happened to me my bank said I could never bank there again because I deposited a check for over 3000 and it bounced. I just got a secret shopper check on the mail about a week ago it's a scam I believe as well not doing it again.

I received oa chk for1587 for se retshopper for Walmart. It's a scam

i just received a check over $5000 . the guy told me to make 5 $1000 money orders and send them overnight w fedex. but i came to this page and he’s doing this same thing w every comment i’ve read

I have had two different ones contact me. Polar Spring Water and Body Armor I took the water check to my bank because I called the issuing bank and they said it was a good check. I love my Bank. She asked me about the check and I told her all I knew and she told me about the scams! I have done the advertising before so I wasn’t suspicious as everything was similar. My other job was legit Needless to say we caught a scammer !!

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.

I had a check sent to me for $1850, from Rockstar energy drink. My bank held the check for 21 days til it cleared, I couldn't take any funds out before it cleared my bank had my back just in case it was a fraudulent check. They( ppl who sent it was P.O and told them I can't take any funds out until the check CLEARS. Your bank can easily run the routing number and bank account number of the check to see if it's fake. Mine wasn't fake however I knew that they were a scam and I didn't send any money to them. They got scammed instead. I knew it was a scam because No job or company pays you upfront without working. Secondly when I got it I had to text the number they gave me, tell person the check number and then I got another person that contacted me. Then I got the emails giving me instructions sending X amount to some dude in Texas for the wrapping. Thanks scammers for the free money. My advice deposit it BUT DONT TOUCH IT(MY BANK FROZE IT UNTIL IT CLEARED) WHEN IT DOES you just got free money from ppl who scammed you. Boy person was PO when i said bank is holding it and by federal law they can hold it for 10-45 days til it CLEARS. I like credit unions policies, unlike other banks. Hope this helps.

I go through a credit union also and right now they're holding my check for $10 some odd days and they have a routing number that is incorrect so that is holding it up

Joy,
I am wondering how the check actually cleared? Did it turn out to be a stolen check or something?

have you encountered any Repercussions as a result?

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.

I don't understand why you all don't find out at the moment youtry to deposit it that it's a fake or scam. I had someone send me a $3500 check to do "claims" for their company. I was to take my $500 out and send the rest to some place that was supposed to send me the "claims" I was to enter but I took the check to my bank and the cashier entered the check info into the system and told me right then the check was a scam and stamped void on it.

I went through the same thing, I deposited the check waited 24 hours saw it cleared and was in my account, I took out the money and sent it through money gram and 5 hours later I get a call from my bank saying the check was no good, now I owe the bank thousand of dallied. I think the bank should have knew if it was real before giving me the money but nothing I can do now but pay them. The scammer got me don’t be there fool like I was.

My bank is waiting for this check to clear. They assure me this is a scam, but they are aware and will not charge me for deposit of the check. I have not spent any of the money , but there is no real bank on the other side of the check to confirm it is real

I to have been mailed a check over $4000 to wrap my car from rush energy drink I am to deposit the check and keep $500 of it and pay the person who wraps my car the rest, theres a phone # to fax my deposit slip to after I mark all my account info off of it when I call the fax # a man answers it you can barely understand him and there are little kids screaming in the back ground some official business huh don't do it therr are companys that do pay you something for doing this but there is a very long waiting list and they only pay about $100- $200 ty for listening I wish there was something that can be done about these scams

I recieved a check for 3650 to have my car wrapped in duncan donut wrapper I was told to deposit it and keep 500 for my first weeks paymen! What should I do! I checked the company name and the bank and its a legitament name! Is it real or too good to be true! Someone give me some advice please I don't know what to do but this money sure is tempting!!!!

Thank you for the information I did receive a check I knew it was a scam too good to be true.

Don't do it. You will get hit with a bounced check fee once it bounces. What will happen next is they will want you to wire money back to them to cover the wrap. If you go that far then the check will eventually bounce and you will be responsible for the money you sent

Thank you so much for the information. You just saved me a huge mistake, as I just recieved a check from them for almost 3000.00.. ty ty ty

Contact the Postmaster, they take this very serious and know how to get convictions. It's called wire fraud.

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.

I was also asked to allow someone here tip wrap my car. They said it would be one of their people that would wrap after christmas. But that I would be sent certified check for 600 weekly as long as I chose to show the advertising on my car. Weird.... i'm waiting I don't this is real. I told him if my questions to him seemed nervous was he worried about me asking questions, he said no. I told him then there doesnt be a problem

I received one as well, and they didnt ask me to send anything to anyone either.

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.

I,m waiting on a check as we speak sent USPS. What should I do.

I'm waiting for a check too there telling me to send the remains in money order to n.c...there to wrap my car with tosihiba ad is this real I'm confused ..

Don't believe it, it's a scam. BUYER BEWARE, you've been warned.

Wow this is really going on, I'm happy I google it. I received emails about having my car wrapped for monster energy drink and I thought it would be kind of cool so I responded back to them with my info and then I just received the check and your right it's for a few thousand dollars and they say to deposit it and send the rest to their sticker company for the fee of wrapping my car. I received a cashiers check about 2 months ago that was a mystery shopping job and same thing it was for a few thousand and I was to keep I think 350 and the rest to buy google play cards and scratch the numbers off on the back and send them the numbers I actually deposited it at my bank but my bank had put a 10 day hold on it thank god because guess what it bounced and I was still charges 10 dollars for a check return fee and now this monster energy drink person keeps texting me this is our message..
Hi this from MONSTER ENERGY DRINK We got your information and the check has been mailed out to you so once is ready i will give you the tracking number

Hello, Davu Moore
They sent that at 8:03 on the 8th and I never responded because I didn't have time yet and then at 8:13 they send one saying hello with my first and last name so I responded and said hello and here's the rest

Hello i want to inform you that the check has been deliver to you .Here is the tracking number ( 787144358018 ) "this was friday" once again I didn't respond and they sent this

You there ??
Once again I didn't respond because I was already having my doubts and just yesterday they sent me this one
HI AGAIN IN FACT THIS IS A MESSAGE OF WHICH AM USING TO EXPRESS MY NEGATIVE FEELINGS TOWARD YOU HAVE COMPLETELY MAKE THINGS BAD,BUT YOU STILL HAVE THE CHANCE OF TODAY FOR YOU TO GET BACK TO ME ELSE YOU WILL FIND YOUR SELF IN BIG TROUBLE....

So I tried calling them and of course nobody answers and it's a damn google voice number so I text them back saying I just tried calling you and so on and so on and I told them I didn't cash any check. If I have the number can't someone trace it? I mean this is crazy that they can just keep doing this

I currently have 5 fraudulent cashiers checks sitting here in front of me. I haven't deposited any of them. All sent USPS and all apoearing real. All scams. Rush energy drink. Secret shopper. Mystery shopper. Busch beer wrap. don't do it

All these stories about checks and scams, I’ve got 5 checks ranging from $2450 to $4650 first was 5 separate secret shopper scam and all sent Fedex but in my mailbox, this latest one was the monster energy drink decal or car wrap which I was hopeful was good but like they say too good to be true the bank worker pulled up a check by this bank and they were pretty similar but not good enough!! That’s only way to be safe if your bank is no help wait the entire 2 weeks to be safe or get on google someone else out there has seen it before you I’ll bet! I tried contacting police the first time and I’m not sure if it was a joke or what but they had me call the secret service. He was a very nice gentalman.

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.

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