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

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.

Why couldn't you just cash the check at a check cashing store or the bank that the check is from thereby reversing the scam and just pocketing the cash. Just like if someone gives you a personal check, if you don't want to wait for the hold on the check you simply cash the check at the person's bank.

Thanks to the input here I did not go too far with this. An e-mail reply came from pmignfun @ zoho. com. It started with a message that my son received that looked like it was affiliated with his university. I answered it, then the conditions changed from it looking legit to being a bit odd. That's when I decided to make a search and found that the old scam is still around. Thank you Everyone!

I just got an offer from Gatorade for $500 a week. Hiring managers name is Bruce Johnson. I'll play along for now. Just sent them my info. Wonder if I can get my bank manager to sign off on telling me the check has cleared so I'm not on the hook.

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