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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.

Scam Tags:  Job Scams

Comments

Scam! Got my check today from Gabriel Harry; 508 Wrangled Dr. Coppell, TX. 75019. We had been in contact daily into today. I received the check via Express Mail US Postal service. It was for $2,400 drawn on Union Bank in San Mateo, CA. I called the bank to verify the account number, company and availability of funds. Bank couldn't verify/confirm anything on the bogus check! SCAM!!!! RUN

Dominos has the scam wrap going! Careful folks!

Doritos, Minute Maid, Frito Lay, etc. are not involved. I received "the check" for $2500 last week using Tyson Foods. I didn't even finish the on-line application, but they did get me home eddy, just enough to try to reel me in
I heard the voice in me head saying " if it's too good to be true, it
usually is.
What evil people will think of to take advantage of folks just trying to get by during lay offs and unemployment etc...

Take care of one another

I just received a letter from Dr Pepper along with it was a check in the amount of $1950. It’s not asking for money to be sent. They’re asking to send an email stating I received and deposited the check. Supposedly 1450 of it would be for the car wrapping and someone will come out to install it. I’m so confused by this. Normally they will asked you to send money if it was a scam but on here is just wanting me to email them a copy of the deposit slip

That happened to us too, they asked for no money but wanted copy of the deposit slip. No thank you!!!

Exactly. Bank account details. Very dangerous!

I received a ckeck for $3950 and I'm to keep $500. They immediately texted that I received the UPS envelope. Two hours later they were requesting me to have withdrawn $3450..of MY MONEY to give to the detailer. No info on the detailer. That's the SCAM giving the detailer your money before check clears. I let them know there will be no scam here because the Check need to clear first and no more Minute Maid Text have come through.

So, I deposited the check for minute maid it was 3,950.50. They haven't been bugging me about the money, but they have said keep $500 of it and send the rest. They still haven't told me how or the person to send it to.. if it goes through what do i do!?!?!? I thought it was legit, i looked up EVERYTHING I could FOR DAYS and i haven't come up with a single thing.... until now. Have i completely screwed myself by depositing it? from what i can read from the comments, I'm assuming i have... :( now im completely at a loss as to what i do.... PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME!!!!

Did you just deposit the check, or did you also withdraw money and send it to someone? If you deposit a bad check and withdraw money to send, you could lose money and have problems with your bank.

If the check bounces weeks after you wired money to a scammer, you can't recover what you sent. You also have to repay the bank all the money you withdrew. Your bank may charge a fee for the bounced check.

Take out your original funds and change accounts, they are trying to access you account to take everything you have

The one I was offered came via text identifying themselves with logistics and giving a link. I filled out the link with name and email address. The next day I was emailed information and told I would be sent a wrap sign advertising Kraft for my car. They said they'd send the sign up front with no mention of money sent to them and I would just pay to have the sign attached with my 1st check that you say may have bounced.

I got a new one this morning. Last month it was for Dr Pepper. This morning its
Nex.godrivedaily

So what if they dont give you a check what if there going to wire the money to your bank account? Is that still the same scam??

If you tell someone your bank account number, they can take money from your account, even if they say they will deposit money.

Do not give them any bank information, thats the easiest way to access and lose your funds

If you give them your bank information. Why would they wire you anything, when they can use your account to shop from? say to yourself "it's a scam"

I got a message wanting me to put wrapbon my car from amazon they pay me 500.00 a week for 7 weeks to do it but they did not say nothing about sending money back to them they told me it would not cost me mouthing it was like renting my car to them do you think it could be a scam also

Call amazon and ask if they have anything like that currently available

I was a little suspicious when I saw the offer on facebook but thought Id give it a shot, I was even more suspicious when I got the email from the so called hiring mgr for Bud Light distribution and there were a number of gramatical erros and sloppy language but I thought I would go though the hoops and see if it pans out. I got a check for $1.950 today fed ex overnight. I have learned that I never deposit checks from anyone I dont know or have'nt verified first. They even make it look very official by using a bank or credit union that you can google and the address and routing number is legit but the account number is fake. SCAM BEWARE

Yes it is a scam!!! I got the same thing in the mail. They think that we are fools. It was tempting but I investigated it. The thing that puzzzled me why do I have to pay the installer and they did not refer me to a ligit company to do the installation.

It's a Scam... Always, if you want, tell them to send you cash by FedEx, if they don't, it's a scam.

I am holding a check for 1,998 dollars and I am not going to deposit it...it is from someone representing DR PEPPER. No company name is to be seen just someone name and email address...it is a scam I know!!!

I got a call asking me if I had a bank account and if I owned a car. Sounds like a scam.. any info anybody

Bigtime scam

They contacted both me and my son by text message:

Dear Applicant, Thanks for your response, Your car has been chosen for the advertisement. It is very easy and simple, no application fees required, this is how it works; the basic premise of the "paid to drive concept" BluePrint Organic" seeks people, regular citizens,professional drivers, and all car owners above eighteen(18) years old,to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with an advertisement for "BluePrint Organic" plastered on their cars. The advertisements are typically vinyl decals, also known as "auto wraps" that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which will cover some portion of your car's exterior surface. What does the company gain from this type of advertisement strategy? Lots of exposure an awareness; the auto wraps tend to be colorful, eye-catching and attracts lots of attention. Plus, it is a form of advertising with a captive audience, meaning people who are stuck in traffic can not take their eyes off the ad vehicle. This program will last for three(3)months and the minimum period you can participate is one(1)month. You will be compensated with four hundred dollars per Week ($400.00/week),which is essentially a "rental" payment for letting our company use your car. BluePrint Organic shall provide detail-er that will handle the advert placement on your car, these detail-er have been tested and confirmed perfect for the job in order not to leave any damage on your car after the end of the program. There will be no fee for gas since you are not driving to any where else apart from your daily routine .Please provide the following information so that we can confirm you for this posting and send you further information; Full Name: Age: Occupation: Make of car/year: Address:(NOT PO Box) City: State: Zip code: Do you have a driver's license? Phone Number(s) mobile and home : Email Address: We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive this information, we looks forward to working with you. Hiring Manager

They contacted both me and my son by text message.

I got the same message from a job board today for UTZ Snacks offering 700 a week. I looked up company and what they pay their sales etc not great pay so that was my clue then found this thank goodness. Will not respond to their scam.

I got a check for 3750 in the mail for a car wrap from Joshua Buter;
I knew from begining that it would be scam, ust wanted to see how they are doing it. The reason I knew was because I only drive3 miles a week and noone will ever see my car :) why are they selecting me to pay $700 aweek? also for that price, they can buy a car and wrap it :).

Bridget Small, you are top notch - thank you for ALL of your excellent info.

This is a big scam...everyone that gets a check, Look where the check comes from before u deposit it. It comes from some other place. Then check n c where they want u to send the money..

I have received a check for $ 2,600.00 from American Southwest Credit Union, For me to advertisement michelin on my car? But they say email them I did. Then say deposit the check and I keep $600.00 and send $ 1,000.00 To both Cole Douglas and Murray Douglas 2876 Windy Ridge Pkwy Atlanta, GA but he did one name then the other. Like I was not going to catch the same address.

The check also had Latoya Mitchell & my name. I dont know this people. I have received a check for $ 2,600.00 from American Southwest Credit Union, For me to car advertisement But they say email them I did. Then say deposit the check and I keep $600.00 and send $ 1,000.00 To both Cole Douglas and Murray Douglas 2876 Windy Ridge Pkwy Atlanta, GA

i am literally going back and forth with some guy now who's telling me that he's legit. i asked him for photos of what the advert will look like. So with that, i contacted the number on the advert. Which is a bbq place in New Jersey. They have no idea about this. when i told the person texting me, he said that HE was the only person that i could speak with. and that he actually works for Red Blue Energy Drink. He said " all i need to do is listen to him as he's in charge of the process". HAHA laughable. sorry buddy, but i will call whom ever to confirm this $500.00 per week offer.

Further to my earlier comment. The phone number for the person TRYING to scam me... 201-479-3397 says the advert is for Dickey's Barbecue Pit. But, he works for Red blue energy Drink. HMMMM. That was one of the RED flags.

Hi I have been contacted by a company to wrap my car with Dr Pepper decal. I just verified with Dr Pepper headquarters and it was confirmed to me that it is a scam. I am to receive a check tomorrow for $500 and after it's cashed then a "specialist" comes to my home to place the decal. How should i proceed. Obviously I am filing a complaint. What do I need to do to stop this scam? Thank you for your help.

We got one of these checks three days ago via USPS, along with the letter from the “Payment Secure Department” which was a poorly cut 1/3 page of a standard letter size paper. It had no header, was poorly worded, and had no contact info except a number to text them name, cell, email, etc etc etc to get further instructions to be sure the funds are secure. It did not mention sending money back. The company on the check was in Oklahoma and is a legit company which apparently deals with oil industry, but I had no idea why we got it, so I put it aside, searched but didn’t find any scam info.. Today my husband got email from a guy claiming to be representing Dr. Pepper following up and asking if we got the check. It was a Gmail address, again with no contact information. It wasn’t until I saw this email referencing Dr. Pepper that I knew it was a scam. The old adage holds true.....if it looks too good to be true, it is.

I just got one from Micheline tire company but they said they would come take care of placing decal and removal themselves however when I went to their actual website I couldn't find anything about it so I'm going to have my bank hold the check few months or til it bounces or actually clears once I find out though will post results here

Just received an email confirming that Kickstart energy drink will be sending me a check for $2950 and that I was to keep 800 for my first two weeks pay and that someone would come to my home to wrap my car and I would pay them the remainder of the money After all of these comments if I receive a check I will be having it checked out by police department or my bank

How long did it take to get the bad check after you agreed to their terms and conditions?

Car wrap scam with a check for $2450.55 from JP Morgan Chase bank. Says the check is from Cabot Oil & Gas. Looks like a payroll check. Contacting Cabot tomorrow.

I almost fell for this! After I googled it to make sure and saw all these messages and realized it was a scam I backed out just in time! Thanks for all the input!

Listen to be sincere i understand your concern i know you're trying to protect your self out from bad people out there but I don't want you to be thinking negative and i want you to know that this is 100% real and legitimate job that you can do and !! my religion does not allow me to cheat on others..... THIS IS MESSAGE THEY SENT BACK TO ME WHEN I BACKED OUT! LOL MY RELIGION DOES NOT ALLOW ME TO CHEAT OTHERS.... REALLY!?!? HAHA

cyrilwfy@ gmaill. com hiring manager for Tropicana drink contacted me via Facebook, about wrapping my car with their advertisement. I responded...several text messages later, received a text from 812-625-7425 saying I had been selected, even sent me a check with the instructions mentioned in this article. I wrote back to cancel the check and am trying to turn them in to authorities.

I received one from a sweet treats ice cream I haven’t gotten a check yet but after reading this I’m quite unnerved and disappointed that it’s looking like a scam

Jelly Belly Car Wrap. I answered an ad on Facebook but did not include my address while waiting for approval. Since reading the article, I have already asked them twice to delete my messages and my # since I am no longer interested.

Check the bottom of the check where the account and routing numbers are. One way you can tell the check is fake is if they use repeating numbers such a 9999999. I responded to an e-mail sent to my university email. When I got the check in the mail, there were no instructions, return address, or any information indicating where it was sent from. I called the bank listed on the check and they confirmed it was fraudulent.

I just received a text message about a promo advertisement for Byrne Dairy to put on my car ... $500 and $50 for gas a week for three months ... said they will send cashiers check.. is this legit or a scam ?

I just received the same advertisement and I got the check yesterday for almost $3000, but I am not sure what to do with it either. Has anyone responded to you other than me about it?

This is a total scam! Call the bank it is drawn on. Can be a legitimate account but give them the remitter's name.

I just deposited a check from Bud Light Lime Energy drink for $1,950. They never asked me to wire them money, but did tell me someone would come by my house to wrap the vehicle and pay them then. I wasn’t going to even tell them to come until I knew the check cleared, but after this I now know it’s definitely a scam.

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