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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.

Comments

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

Everything looks real, but a little voice in my head kept saying, do some research. The envelope the check came in had a suspicious return address and the bank logo didn't quite look right on the check. Glad I came across this site. Confirms my suspicions. Think I will still go to my bank with the check to report the scam.

Be careful how you word it to the bank. I took a check in a few years back, to the fiancial institution, and they called the cops on me. The check was definitely fraudulent.

You may get your $500 but you will also get the felony charge for fraudulent document along with it as well as court cost a d restoration Roy will have to pay back.

When you cash a check at a check cashing establishment you have to show your I D. So it comes back on you this way also. The check bounces the police is called and they come visit you. Understand now.

But what happens to you if the check is fake & check bounces at the check cashing place? Would you still be responsible in paying them back? And how do you tell if it is a scam if you do not want to use your bank to be safe?

You are responsible for the checks you deposit or cash. If a check bounces, you have to repay the bank or check cashing business the money they gave you for the bounced check.

The absolute best way to find out if a check is fake: go into ANY bank and ask one of the people sitting at a desk, NOT the ones behind the counter, to please, ‘verify the checks authenticity’. That way your account information is safe and you find out the truth about it... These scammers are getting better at fake checks, they’re learning to use the same type of check papers that specific big name companies use, so ‘be prepared, not scared’, that’s my motto...

The check is fraudulent and no matter who cashes it, they will get burnt and are going to hold you responsible for the amount of the check and much more. In some jurisdictions you may even be tried and convicted of a crime.

I'm going thru the Same thing. Were u able to keep the money?

Did they check ever bounce?? What happened??

I received a cashiers check for $2,950 by UPS Express next day delivery. I was told by text message to deposit it then call them! I checked the bank First Reliance bank, Florence SC, it does exist. I haven't done anything with it. This was from Budweiser Regional coordinator supossely! This is for wrappings my car, what should I do?

I got the same, except a grand more. Destroy the check before it destroys you

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.

I just found this site. Today I got a text about wrapping my car for Dr. Pepper, and that I would receive 500.00 per week. I'm over 50, unemployment will run out soon. I seen cars with advert wrap. I thought it was legit. I called my brother he thought legit too. So I followed link and completed form, but left out my age. I kept copy of it. But I sense it was not right afterwards, si I searched and found this site. I know better now feeling stupid for putting my contact info out there. All I wanted was a legit opportunity to work. Scammers, smh... But I read all the post if I get anything in mail I will refuse it a return to sender. Not taking to bank or ck place. I feel so stupid but now I know more better. I hope others will read this post. Don't give out address name, email phone number. I'm sure Dr. Pepper company is not asking people to do this. People beware, don't fall for it. Just in case scammers maybe reading these post, just to see what people are saying. People are hurting and want to do right things earn honestly or connect to legit business to make money but, scammers are out there predators to take advantage. Yes , I'm sure they got my cell number from multiple job sites per my search and sent me the text I fell for initially. So be careful out there and keep searching for the legit work opportunity, stay positive and it will work out. Avoid, any mail addressed to you related to car wrapping. Contact authorities.

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.

If only it was that simple. Just because people work in a bank doesn’t mean they can spot out every detail. Banks always have and always will have 10’s of thousands of customers per one of their employees, making it impossible to do such a thing. The bank only handles what you put in and what you take out. They can spot several fraudulent withdrawals because the transaction took place far from where your spending habits come from but, check deposits, wiring money and withdrawals are up to you to determine for the best interest of your own financial well-being. It does suck and it’s easy to blame the bank for your misfortune but you can’t expect a bank to hold your hand every step of the way. When you make adult decisions you have to accept adult consequences. A bank is just a bookkeeper you are the one who rolls the dice.

You are absolutely right. I can't believe in this day and age your bank can't verify it when a check is bad within hours really. Maybe they know it's counterfeit but know their customer has to pay in the end. How much money are they making off this scam, hmmm?

Yeah well that's what is the scariest is that you place your hard earned money into a bank that you trust they have the knowledge and the staff who will do whatever they can to protect your money. If you can't rely on a bank to know when you are trying to deposit a fraudulent check into your account then why would you put your money in their hands. But I just received an email today telling me that AMP Energy drink logo will pay me for 10 weeks $500 a week if I put their logo on my car and drive with the sticker on it every place I travel within the 10 week period. I know this is a scam so I played along with them and asked them to give me the name of the company that will be installing the sticker on my car and I have not received a response. When I completed the application online for this company, I was told they would be sending me a response by email if I'm accepted. So automatically when I got the text it was in question. I have reported the text message to the authorities because I know I will not hear back from this person.

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 a message with the exact same words but from a Jennifer Poplin. It doesn't sounds right, so I'm alerting you with this fake name.

I have been dealing with this car wrap b.s ,I have torn up 4 checks and threw in trash.but then they used red bull for the advertising wrap so I texted back ,so excited its close to Christmas and the whole 9.well I called red bull corporate office and low and behold it was b.s .i sent those folks a really nasty message.did mot do no good but it made me feel better.

Just got one from Lays for $500/week. Got scammed about a year ago with the Budweiser one. Never felt so foolish. Don’t fall for this.

I got a Dr Pepper one today for 3900. Smh.

I just got a check for $2500 saying that I can keep $500 and use the rest for an amp vehicle wrap is it a scam

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.

You will be receiving a payment of $1,640. The payment will include your first week salary and the payment of the Specialist that will be coming to wrap your car to get the decals needed for the wrap. can we trust you with these funds?
This is what I was told ^^^

What did they say they were putting the $ on a debit card? Sending a check ? Cause that's how they probably get you is talking you out of your debit/credit card or banking info

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?

Just got same message from AMP energy drinks today

I got a message from amp. They will pay me $700 in advance and will send out vinyl decals specialist out to install it. Does not say to send money to anybody or pay anyone. Unlike most of these review comments amp is not asking me to send money anywhere. They did say they would send out a cashier check. It’s a 12 week program and have to do it for a minimum of 8 weeks. I’m going to investigate before giving any info. I’m going to start by calling the phone number.

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