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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

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.

I received a cashier's check from pro-fed credit union with an amount of 2390 dollars from Gatorade allegedly to wrap my car and advertise at 500 dollars per week. it instructed me to deposit the check, keep 500 and wire remaining to the car wrap company. I am not falling for it, No, thank you!

Can someone post a pic of the check because i think i just received one

Lenovo was the wrap scam they tried on me just this week. I let them send the check, I burned the check. It cost them $6.65 to send it to me. At least if no one in authority can prosecute them , I got them for $6.65!

So... "Monster Energy Drink" wants to sponsor/wrap my car. same stories as everyone else, deposit check, wire money, keep excess... Well. No way in hell am I going to take this anywhere near my bank. Truly considering hitting one of those check cashing locations and thanking the "representative" I spoke with for the bonus..

Check the sender's email address. For a start, hiring managers should have email addresses from the company they work for, not gmail.

What if you take the check to a check cashing place like payday loans? Will you get in trouble for trying to cash it if its fake? I'm just trying to determine if its legit

DO NOT (try to) cash one of those checks at a check-cashing service. When it bounces, they will come after you for the cash! If you don't pay, they can go to the police to have you arrested for fraud. Besides, the owners of those services are trying to make a living, too!

That's actually not true, at least here in Milwaukee. I thought I was being clever and was going to scam the scammer and went to a check cashing place and almost had the cash in hand when the lady got spooked and right at the end put a hold on it and called her manager. So I didn't get the money. She told me the same thing that I could be arrested. So just out of curiosity I called the police and they told me that if anything they could take you to civil court but there's nothing wrong with cashing a check with your name on it so the police wouldn't get involved. Its not like you wrote a bad check. You are simply cashing a check. The police don't know the context so it's really just a he said she said that has to be handled in civil court but why would the company waste their time and money for a few hundred bucks?

Is there someone I can contact about this, I received a fake check?

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

Yup got a text message today saying $500 a week and to email this certain person but it was a weird name with a long # and a Gmail address. Sketchy.

This just happened to me. I'm thinking of going to police to some traction.

There is a company doing this right now called CED

I got my check today from car wrap for 3800 dollars but I won't be cashing it I'll give to polic

Has anyone tried to cash one of these checks at Walmart?

I was thinking the same thing...cash it and then keeping all the money...screw them. Because in some cases the checks are real and once you notify them that you deposited the funds, they'll close they're acct.

Just got a $500/wk offer from Hawaiian Punch - not going to respond as immediately when I hit reply it was to someone other than the sender.

Just happened to me with Gatorade. I did deposit the check in the mail but the bank said they need to put a hold on it. A couple days later they informed me the check bounced. Thank God I didn't take any money out and now the bank is taking action against them. Whew!

I just got this email today

Hello, Participate in Refresher Energy Drink Company Advertising...Our company is one of the most innovative Advertising agencies with clients all over the world.We have a target to advertise so many products for a number of companies mostly in USA,as a whole and we also have representatives in this regions.The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as "auto wraps," that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle and which will cover any portion of your car's exterior surface. What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure and awareness. The auto wraps tend to be colorful and eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it's a form of advertising with a captive audience,this means people who are stuck in traffic can't avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside..We work as an advertising agent and we will be doing the advert for the new company which will be producing biscuit which includes cookies, crackers, and cereals. The advert will be a small sticker which will be placed on your car and we need someone in your state who will be dedicated to doing this and be rest assured you will be paid promptly. This program will last for 3 months and the minimum period you can participate is 1 month..We shall provide experts that will handle the advert placement on your car. You will receiving a weekly payment of $400 and this payment will be sent as an upfront payment to you for allowing us place the advert on your car.

After the duration of your service and you want to discontinue, the specialist/ expert shall come again and remove the advert placement on your car with no traces of ever placing a vinyl decals on your vehicle. Send the required below Information: Full Name: Address: City,State and Zip code: Mobile Number : Age: Occupation: Make of car/ year: Exterior Color of Car: Email Address: Possible Questions/ Answer below: 1. Is this going to affect the paint of my car ? No is not going to affect the car paints. 2. How Large is the sticker ? Just small sticker. We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive these information. We look forward to working with you soonest. Hiring Agent Wilson Raymond jammedwilson91 @

Soya milk has contacted me. Is this a scam??

I literally just gave them the information they needed so I could get paid. I THANK GOD I looked up this guy CARL ANDERSON name who is “the hiring manager” for Miller Lite! This is sick! Now when I receive the check I’m turning it in. I don’t need those kind of problems in my life.

I got the check of $2390... I went to the bank to check if is real, they said iits seems scam...

After reading this page today i am going to wait for the check to arrive and hand all the info over to the police and they can deal with this person who is trying to do it to me, i thought it to good to be true & thanks for every ones advice in advance

Just recieved one, a text. I also recieved a responce on a cl ad and they ask if i took check. Once i send it depends, they said. I send u check for double put it account and the other half you send to movers. I WAS like SURE, how about if i just give you my card and sevurity code numbers that way i just keep check and it make it easier. He says well, i never t for thought of that. Then he went on to praised me for having such a wonderful idea. Im saying to my self i thought i was the one who is suppose to be the idiot, he actually thinks i would do this. I thought he would figure i was being sarcastic. I had to actually tell him that he is a nut and to get a life. The cazy thing is he has someone else call like 1 or 2 weeks later claiming they are taking me to court for not delivering the item from cl. His so called laywer says he mailed out that check and it shows i cashed it and kept the money and didnt hold my end of the bargain. They can cancle this law suit and possible criminal charging if i make a payment right now over the phone. I agreed on one condition, if it shows the check was cashed then please tell me which bank was it that sent you this info. Of course he was way off and claims it doesnt matter it may have went through multible banks. Dang, 1200 check and my bank couldnt cover it. I said take me to court never recieved any check and u guys think im going to surrender my info you guys are crazy. Havent heard from them since. Im shocked that people actually fall for this obvious scam. If this works on people then i can bet there is even more obvious ones out there that work.

again first Monster energy . and it went as far as a check that won't cash. no there is another. I don't know it's organic.

Greetings from Mesa, AZ. I too, received a text message about decaling my car for RedBull. Dude's name is Mr. Dewitt. Sounds ligit, with questions about accidents, time driving, and type of vehicle? Collecting info. To turn these fraudsters in!

I tried this. TOTAL SCAM. Call center in Philippians. I said refund my money, or I'll inform my bank to contact the FBI. I received a refund confirmation email... 3 - 5 days for funds to go back into my account.

There is a new scam with Busch Beer. The scammer is using the name Eddy Jordan.

Hey everybody holding a check still wondering what if.... Call the company on the check. Actually look up their phone#-don't just use the one on the check- and ask if this check#... From XXX acct signed by XXX employee is legit. Just search the company & signature on the check anyways!! I've seen most of the time it's the millionaire owner that supposedly signed your check...?!? Really??! C'mon. Ask more questions people!! Don't just say well ok & put ur finances in jeopardy!! I fell for this crap too up until I noticed locations & info wasn't jiving..

I just received a check have not cashed it now what do I do with it person won't text or email back where to send it to

Some people give the checks they receive to their bank, local post office (if the check came by postal mail) or police; some people destroy the checks.

Has anyone did the energy drink for Carabao I think it’s a scam. They sent me 1500 and 400 of it is supposed to be mine. They also want me to deposit the check and send a picture showing I deposited it. I tried calling the number and it rings for a while and then the little Nextel thing comes on. I told them that I think it’s a scam and of course they tried to deny it

Yeah I got a Gatorade invite to wrap my car and the first thing I did was look on the internet for a car wrap scam and certainly it's available so I played along with it got a check for $2,390 keep 500 and send them the rest is what they requested so now I'm playing with them and telling them why would I send money Walmart to Walmart or MoneyGram why don't I just pay the man when he comes to my house to wrap the car so I'm pretty much wasting their time having some fun with it

I just responded to a job add about wrapping my car with Budweiser got the check in the mail today for 3,570.00 I was told to keep 400 out of that after it clears the bank and keep the rest to pay for the wrap. i am supposed to text a number and let them know I have gotten the check. but after reading all this stuff I'm not so sure please help

My friend just got such a letter today: $2390 Gatorade version, Priority Mail from Oklahoma. We went to his credit union, where an employee immediately recognized the con, confiscated the check to forward to her bosses and the Federal Reserve or whomever. She gave us a photocopy of the check for our records & so we could present it to other law enforcement.
I want to go to the US Postal Inspector because the name & tracking number on the USPS--printed label must lead to somebody and their credit card or bank account from which they pay postage at $6.70 a pop!

I almost fell for this scam. I went to the bank today to deposit a $ 4900 check, my banker call the bank the check was written on, gave them the account # on the check, the bank informed us that there is no account, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is

also, check the email address

I just got this one from Liquid Ice Energy Drink

Hello Applicant,

I appreciate your effort and have decided to give this a “go.” and feel free to pass any questions on.

Detailed Job Description:
We are currently seeking to employ car,truck and bike owners to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big advert for Liquid Ice Energy Drink®” plastered on your car. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “auto wraps,”that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which will cover any portion of your car’s exterior surface.

Drive our company sticker around and you will be compensated with $300 per week which is essentially "rental"payment for leasing your car for our company. No application fees required from you.

What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure and awareness. The auto wraps tend to be colorful, eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it’s a form of advertising with a captive audience,meaning people who are stuck in traffic can’t avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them. This program will last for 3 months and the minimum you can participate is a month.

What is the Contract Duration? Once the wrap has been installed, minimum term is 4 weeks and maximum is 12 weeks.

Would the wrap/decal damage the paint of my car,truck or bike? The decal doesn’t damage the paint and will be removed by our representative once the contract expire. We will be responsible for installation and removal of the wrap.

You will be compensated with $300.00 per week which is essentially a “rental”payment for letting our company use the space and no fee is required from you. Liquid ice Energy Drink® shall provide experts that would handle the advert placing on your car. You will receive an upfront payment of $300.00 in form of a check via FedEx courier service for accepting to carry this advert on your car.

It is very easy and simple no application fees required. Get back with the following details if you are interested in this offer.

we would be paying you by check and would want you to get back with your

Full Name :Full Street Address (not PO BOX) :City, State & Post Code:Country :Cell & Home Phone Number:Age :Make of car/ Year :Miles :Email :
Employed : Yes or No ? If Yes, Do you drive to work ?We will contact you immediately we receive this information Note: VISTAPRINT take full responsibility for placing and remove decal on your car and it will not resort to any damage.

I received a text from Ciroc Vodka. Offering 500 weekly for sticker placement for 12 weeks. Sure....

Anyone ever heard of uro energy drink? I got a check in the mail Today for $3,000 and im supposed to deposit it in my bank and take out $450. $2,550 is what im supposed to send it to a guy so he can put the wrap on my car. We havent put it in the bank yet because we are scared it could be a scam. Im going to the police station tomorrow to talk to them about this. See if they can help to see if its real or not. Im more sure it is now reading everyones comments. I really needed this opportunity. 2nd time a scam has almost got me. They are on Indeed, Craigslist, Facebook etc. Its like no one can win with everyone trying to pull a scam over people.

It's a scam! Do not deposit the check. DO NOT wire any money!

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