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

I keep getting text messages from some number saying they would pay $500 a week for me to drive around with a Red Bull wrap on my car. And last week it was Coca Cola. I know this is a scam. I call the number and it says the customer you are calling is no longer in service. Buy I get text messages every day and weird calls saying work from home, or offering to pay me to go to some seminar in Florida. They get my number from social media I guess cause stupidily that's where I have my number posted. I wish there was some way of blocking all of the BS.

It’s illegal for a company to send you a text message if it doesn’t have your permission, barring a few exceptions. If you get a random text message from a number you don’t recognize that says you won something or asks you to confirm some personal information, don’t text back or click on links. Report it to your provider at 7726 (SPAM) and to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint or 1-888-382-1222.

For more information, please see the FTC blog post, Stopping unwanted phone calls and text messages.

just received my check from WOW EXCHANGE for $2487.80 for my vehicle wrap, to good to be true.

ok,yes I have received this offer to wrap my car & get payed a specific amount per week for advertising the "redbull" wrap on my car, not thinking about I noticed they are so eager to get their money, "go to the bank immediately & send via wiregram, keep the $500 for urself, I have not pulled any money out of my acct, it was barely taken off hold today by my bank. but I did find it strange, they kept asking me, ehen are you going to send they money?? & by the same bank as several people have mentioned above, what shall I do now besides of course reporting it. should I take the cu d4s back out of my acct, who do I send the no 1st back to? as if I was no longer interested in this way of going about making money from them?? whete do I go from here?

If you got a bad check from a scammer, you could ask the bank if they need to keep it, or return it to you. You don't need to keep talking or writing to the scammer who sent you a bad check.

The details you have will be useful in a complaint. Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

I received a $1998.00 check via USPS exactly one hour after a email said that I would be receiving a check in the mail. I was really happy because I needed the money at $500 a week to help my family being I just lost a job, and have a 1yr old son that is still in diapers and bills are piling up, I thought I was starting to see day light for my family, I called the main office for red bull in Santa Monica before taking the check only to find it to be only a scam, now I feel like I've let my family down..

I was not scammed but putting it here to show others...
Ruthanne Dale
Advertisement Manager
Cricket Wireless.
cognitoforms. AutoWrapApplication
Dear prospective applicant,

We have received your email in regards to the auto wrap advert program. Here's the basic premise of the "paid to drive" concept: Cricket Wireless seek people, regular citizens, professional drivers to go about their normal routine as they do with our logo on their Vehicles/Bikes. The result of this process is essentially a mobile billboard.

What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure and awareness. The auto wraps tend to be eye-catching thereby attracts lots of attention.

What is the Contract Duration? The program will last for 6 months and the minimum you can participate is a month.

Would the wrap/decal damage the paint of my Vehicle ? The decal doesn't damage the paint of vehicles and it can later be removed with relative ease at the end of the program.

Does it cover the Vehicle/Bike ? No, the decal is only installed on the Vehicle trunk and doors

NB Please view the form to read about the payment process. CLICK HERE to apply

Could you show me how you were not scammed

Zipcarwrap. com is a scam.be aware!!!

A company tried this with me but noticed their English was incorrect and as soon as l questioned them after sending me false accounts the shut down the site. I was trained by the military to pay close attention to verbiage usage Damon hackers scammer scumbags. Most people are not trained to pick up on these scams. If it is an email block the number and delete email. As a precaution change your bank account and cancel your bank visa card. Also change your email account. I know this is a pain but well worth the effort!

Couple weeks ago I got email from "Cappy Juice" about wrapping my car for monster energy drinks. Love monster energy drinks so I was in... two days ago I received a check for $2999.85. The check and return sender did not match... what do i do...
I gave them all my cars info... and mine except social security number and birthday. .. but my address phone number ect...

You may want to look at this FTC information about what to do if your information has been lost or exposed.

zip car autowrap sent me a check so went to Wells Frago and they said it was a scam then received another check from a different bank it went to the trash Found on Craigslist Houston just a Big Scam

Just cash the check at a check cashing place, keep the $$ and tell em to get a real job and thanks for the bonus...

I got a check for 2500$ and they are requesting stuff back, Kinda needed that money to pay off medical bills. Is this a scam?

In some scams, a “company” sends you a check and tells you to deposit the check, keep part of it, and wire the rest to another company.

If the check is no good, eventually it will bounce, after you wired the money. Your bank will tell you it was a fake. The money you kept as “your share” will disappear from your account. The money you wired is gone and you can't get it back. You have to repay the bank for the full amount of the fake check.

I just received a check from infusionsofr company auto vinyl wraps beleve is scam

I had to look at this email address and I wanted to look it up and I came across this site and it told me it was a scam so I read a little bit more into it I thank you so much for letting me see this and read more into it...
This was truly truly a sign that I came across this because I got scammed one time before but that will never happen again but I thank you I thank you from within my heart

I just saw this same ad on Craigslist last night. Saying would send $1950 I would keep $450 and pay the installer $1500. Then would be paid $450/week as long as I kept the car wrapped. I really need the money right now but couldn't help feel that it was a scam. So glad I followed my gut and googled Propel Advertising so not to get sucked in.

Hi Nicole ,I thought this was a scam, but freind said let's deposit the money into my bank account. So we did .now what do I do?? Please reply this is the same exact person, I know, I saw it on Craigslist, the check was for the amount of $1950. And witch $450 is for me and the rest ,he is to give me further instructions tomorrow. (Help)

Do *NOT* spend that money!!! Not a dollar, not a dime, not one red cent.

Tell your bank that you suspect the check is a scam. There are things they can do to verify that.

(There's no question about it though - *anything* that involves getting a check and wiring part of it to someone else while keeping the rest is *always always always* a scam. It doesn't matter how little or how much it's for nor how real it looks. There's always an exception to the rule, and this is the exception to that, as *there are no exceptions*.)

Remember, the money being listed as "available" does *not* mean the check has fully cleared. The bank will give you the money from it based solely on the *assumption* that the check will clear. Then when it doesn't clear later, they'll come after *you* for the money you spent against the check.

I have received a email that they are Budweiser advertisement corporation. At the start time, they used vivianXX@ . When I replied the email after they used another email contact me.That email address is brandees2v@ and phone number is 318-302-0834.That guy's name is Brandee Kirk.He didn't speak English. Only speak Spanish. Brandee usually SMS to me and phone to me that push me WHEN I receive the Check. I must tell him ASAP. When I asked my friends and google this "STORY", that is Scam.

Yes, that sounds like a scam. He wants you to accept a fake check and send him cash ASAP. But later, the bank will learn the check is fake. You will owe a lot of money to the bank. You can read more about this in Spanish, here.

What if they said their sending a cashiers check and a vender of theirs to come out and do the wrap and pay me for the first week.
Plus how could i do a verification if these people are real. Its funny cause the email i get is fm a different person and my response go to another person. Can someone please tell me is this fake or what.

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?

Im suppose to get the check today luckily i checked online.they are texting me from a phone number is there anyway i can turn their number in.

You can file a report at ftc.gov/complaint.

I saw an ad in the classifieds in the morning paper for red bull/ rock star car wrap. A Paul Costa emailed me and never called. I don't think this is real. About to delete all of this Bologna

I've changed my mind, Paul. After reading this, I think you should too!

got the hublot scam. I received emails from a Shana regarding how it works. I did research and realize it was a scam. I kept emailing Shana back and had Fed Ex return check to sender while it was at Fed Ex. Shana emailed me wondering the issue and the check was cancelled and to call a number if I was interested in wrapping my car. A week later the check got sent in my mailbox, now I have to return it again.

What if you cash the checks at a check cashing place?

They are suppose to be sending md one hell im taking to wAl mart and try! If it cashes I’m holding on to it though for a wk or so encase

Dont do it, you could be sitting in that back room for fraud.

Why dont they just grab them when they send the mooney back to them?

Hello, got a text today saying Casio Wrist Watch is offering $500 a month to put sticker on my car?? Sent link with message. I am very suspicious of this! Scam??

I answered an ad regarding $400 a week advertising xl energy he said they will come to my house and wrap it and I drive around until I'm ready to have it taken off has anybody heard about this one yet

Red Bull Wrap Scam!
Here is how has gone so far! Word for work all text is copied directly from their email or text!

E mail:
RED BULL ADVERT PROGRAM

Saturday Sep 16, 2017, 11:31 AM
Email From: RED BULL hannah.wentworth111 To: Me
Congratulations. You qualified for the Red Bull Energy Drink® Survey brand car wrap advert program. A technician has been assigned to you; they will contact you through email or phone to schedule date/time to come and fix the Red Bull Vinyl decals on your car and also sign agreement to remove it when due. 
Note that the wrapping of the car will be done at your residence and does not take long and you could be present while the wrap is done.
Your first weekly payment and funds for the cost of installing the decal will be issued out next week. As soon as you receive the check, You will cash the check for the decal wrapping on your car, deduct $350.00 as your first week payment. The rest of the funds should be transferred to the Graphic artist that will wrap the decal on your vehicle.
In view of this, please confirm the following details; How long do you intend to carry the advertisement on your car? One(1) month, two(2) months or three(3) months? How often do you use your car everyday?
Also reconfirm your name as it should be on the check..You are to be checking your email daily for updates.
I............................. ...Confirm to have received this email and understand the content, 
Thanks for your anticipated co-operation in order to start advertising for us.
Yours Sincerely,
Hannah Wentworth
Hiring Manager
Saturday Sept 15, 2017, 12:42pm
Text from 570 901 0224
Hello,This is a message notification that You qualified for the Red bull Survey brand car wrap advert program.We sent a confirmation email to your email account. kindly check your inbox/spam folder for the email and confirm the email.Hiring Manager.
E mail: Sep 16, 2017, 3:23 PM
From: Me
To: RED BULL
In view of this, please confirm the following details; 
How long do you intend to carry the advertisement on your car?  three(3) months
How often do you use your car everyday? YES
Also reconfirm your name as it should be on the check..You are to be checking your email daily for updates.
I...My Name... Confirm to have received this email and understand the content, 
Saturday Sept 15, 2017, 3:45pm
My reply to the email & this text: Thank you, I replied, (to email explaining the program and my answers to their questions. They asked: What type of vehicle, it's condition and color)
How often do you drive? Every day
Duration: 3 months
How is the check to be made to: "My Name"
Just so I'm clear on the instructions, how much will the check be?
I keep 350 of that check and give the rest to the graphs person correct ?
If the check is 1000, I keep 350 and them $650?
Please clarify!

Sep 17, 2017, 5:43 PM
Email From: Me
To: RED BULL hannah.wentworth111

Your original message said it would be paid all at once.
So now it is for weekly payments?
Please clarify!

Email: 9/18/2017 5:14am
--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "RED BULL" 
From: hannah.wentworth111

I will like to bring to your notice that you will receive a check for $2,350 Via USPS(United  States Postal Service) today.The check will be delivered to your mailbox today.Included in the check is your 1st Week Wage Being $350.The rest of the fund is the Payment to cover the decal expenses(i.e To wrap your Car with the Red Bull AD) as Discussed.
*Once you have the check in hand, go ahead and make a deposit at your bank,deposit the check and part of the funds will be available immediately(ask your bank how much is available for instant withdrawal),while the rest will be available 24hrs to 48hrs after deposit.
*Let me know how much is available at first.So, once the rest of the money is available you will deduct your weekly salary which is $350.
*The remaining $2,000 of the funds as to be sent to the decal specialist.You will be updated with the decal specialist information & arrangement can be Made for them to come install the Wrap @ your Place.
KINDLY TEXT ME WITH YOUR FULL NAME ON THIS NUMBER TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS EMAIL 218-416-3645  (TEXT ONLY)
Yours Sincerely
Hannah Wentworth
Hiring Manager
5:45am, 9/18/2017 text ph# 724 558 0375
This is a message notification from Red Bull Survey brand car wrap advert program. payment has been mailed to your address and it will be delivered to you today via USPS, instruction to follow has been sent to your email as well.kindly check your inbox/spam folder for the instruction email. Text me on this number with your full name to acknowledge the email 218-416-3645 (TEXT ONLY) .

There is a scam for a gatorade car wrap happening. I almost fell for it until they said to deposit this check for $2,000+ using mobile deposit for my portion + the money for the wrap. I'm sure gatorade could pay their own vendors, and not worry about how I deposit my money!

I've got the one from the IRS. My red alert went off when the guy had a middle eastern guy told me His name was brad. His real name was probably something like Apu

This is happening to me right now. I got a check for 2350.00. Suppose to get 350 a week for three months. The money is sitting in my account, while the bank has put it on hold for 5 days to allow it to clear. The text said this came from David Gibson, Hiring Manager for Monster drink survey car wrap advert program.

I got a $ 4900 check, said I would get $ 450 per week for 3 months, check the email address

this is also what's happening to me right now! I just received this check via FED-EX telling me to deposit check and so many of the funds will be available immediately, blah, blah blah. what do I do to make sure it's not legit?

It's not legit.

This is definetly a scam and today they ALMOST got me. I was nervous about it the whole way through but when they said to do a walmart to walmart transfer. I got a little more nervous but still did it. After I did it I felt like I should look into it a little more just to make sure. I put all the information together with the number, the emails, the address of where the check came from, the address of the receiver. So I called Walmart and tolds them I thought it was a scam and they said that I would have to come back down face to face. When I got there the clerk looked up the number and the money had not been taken YET. So I was like "I need to reverse this IMMEDIATELY" Of course he had to wait on a CSM to turn the key. Finally they were able to get the refund complete. I got ALL the money back. I called my bank and the fraud department at my bank to let them know that I almost got scammed but I have the money and will deposit it as soon as I was off work. Im an over thinker anyways and this time it really paid off!!! The money made it back to my account and it is now pending closed upon receiving the check. There will be no fees assessed to my account and it doesn't harm me in anyway because I have 4 accounts. If your an online person looking to make money ALWAYS take the gamble on an account u never use, one that is not linked to other accounts or have your pay check deposited to or has bills that come out. Be safe out there...make sure you cover your tracks this could have been terrible for me if I didnt look back into it and stop the transaction I would owed my bank 1,954. THANK YOU JESUS for looking out for me today!!!

I'm in MT and currently in contact with someone claiming to be Carl Anderson from Miller Lite, offering $400 per week for 6 weeks to have a Miller Lite decal on my vehicle. I'm guessing from this forum that I should give up on any hope of this being legit? I didn't see anyone mentioning Miller Lite, but the circumstances appear to be the same :(
So just to be clear, no chance in hell this is a legitimate opportunity? That money would be sooo helpful right now. :(

I just received one of these "offers", and because it was "too good to be true" I decided to Google it and wound up here. I filled out their application which is just a basic web site, go the check in the mail, never replied to their texts/emails, and the guy had the nerve to threaten me by saying his uncle works for the FBI and they will pursue action. I was hoping there was a way to scam the scammer. But I'll be turning this over to the FTC and hope they get caught someday.

Basically if the check is for $1950 your getting ripped. When are police going to bust Western Union. Haha not in Nigeria

Thank you for these posts! I recently received a cashiers check for 2900 for a wrap of rock star energy drink. I was about to run the check!

I have been contacted by our fraudster. I didn't know what was going on and complied to his requests up to the point of receiving the check. I now have the check and will not deposit it. I have all the e-mails he sent in a saved folder in case there is a way of catching them. What should I do next?

Budweiser sent me an email saying they would pay me 350 a week to wrap my car, the 2nd email asked for a lot of information me and my husband's bames, address, phone #, occupation, marital status, and mileage on my car. Needless to say I didn't send back anything because it's a scam. I knew it was because the company is huge, they can afford to market with their own card.

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