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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

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

I got a email from sting energy, saying they will send me 600 and extra money for a person to come out to wrap my car. I gave them information on the make and model of my car. And they text me back wanting to know if my bank will except mobile deposit. Or they will mail it in 3 days. I am to take out 600 and the rest will go to the installer. Name is Mike Anderson for sting energy drink. Is this a scame. They have been trying to still my information for the last 2 weeks with loans and jobs. Everytime I block a call they would call me from another number. What should I do.

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) .

Got one today

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.

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.

I just got a check, it was supposed to be from Kai Oil for a car wrap, $500. per week. A check came yesterday for $3,751.23. I asked why so much? He text me that $500. was for me and the rest to be given to the installer of the car wrap. The company name on the check is Pilot Cabinet Works, Inc.

then what happened

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.

Yes I have tried but their system isn't going to take it. So I didn't go anywhere else. Shredded it quickly.

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 @

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