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Car wrap scam targets college students

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If you have a car, you know how expensive the upkeep can be. Gas, maintenance, parking – the whole lot. So what if a company offered to pay you to drive around – which you were already doing – with their branding wrapped onto your car? It could sound like a good deal.

We’ve heard about some car wrap scams that have targeted college students, a group known to look for ways to make a few extra bucks. The gist of the scam is this: The scammers send emails with messages like “GET PAID TO DRIVE.” They offer to pay you $250-$350 a week if you’ll drive around with your car (or truck or motorcycle) wrapped to advertise a well-known product – or even an event like the 2020 Olympics.

If you bite, they’ll send you a check to deposit into your bank account. Then they’ll tell you to use some of that money so a “specialist” can put the ads on your car. And they’ll tell you to pay by money order, Walmart money services, or by making a cash deposit directly into the “specialist’s” bank account – all ways that are hard to cancel or get your money back.

For a lot of people, it’s only once their money is gone – and no car wrap materializes – that they figure out the “specialist” is really the scammer. And that check they deposited is a fake. Which also means the bank will take back the amount of that fake check…leaving people out even more money. Here’s how that works:

Infographic describing how fake check scams work

Spotted a scam like this? We want to hear about it. Let us know at FTC.gov/complaint.

Tagged with: fake check, imposter, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I'm curious, what happens if the person (victim) receives their money... then doesn't follow the instructions. Do they become the scammer...?

You are responsible for the checks you cash or deposit. If you cash or deposit a fake check, you'll have to repay the bank the value of the check when it eventually bounces. Your bank might charge you a fee for cashing or depositing a bad check, or close your account.

The checks never clear. Ever. So the recipient of the check doesn’t get the opportunity to keep the “money.”

How do these scammers stay in business?

Been there once and lost $199 and I only got $30 and bank closed my account and I get scammer on messenger and text twice a month wanting different amounts of money from $200 to $2000 using my lest contact friend on Facebook or messenger and messenges

I get texts like this weekly. It is so annoying. Often times, it is sent in a group message. Luckily my messages app just recently made it possible to report messages in group messages as spam/scams.

My question is how do you get a legit car wrap like I have seen on cars on the highway?

I also had one girl that wanted me to walk from my house to Tops to get a money order to send her for some scam, while staying on my home phone. I really got a good laugh about that one. I wasn't about to walk a half an hour to Top's in the winter and carry my house phone with me to send her money. I forgot what the money was supposed to be for, a free trip that wasn't free or something like that. Some of them are so stupid you have to laugh .

Those idiot's calls me 3 to 4 weekly. That's why I'm changing my number.

Changing your number won't help...robo-callers use dialing algorithms to process through any combination of numbers. You'll get them no matter what your phone number is.

I've listened to the reports thru the years about Scams to the public and how people have gotten taken for probably millions of dollars now. I just happen to work for the Government and have had many years to be made aware of these Scams because they are getting into the Government too, but because we are Human, we all can get close to or get fooled. My time is now with looking for a part-time job for the Holidays, with what I thought sounded good with a Car Wrap offer and I wouldn't have to work hard to earn a few dollars, I took the bait(still being leary as the days went on)up until they sent the letter and a big check, but here's where I stopped and decided to check some things out, I go to the bank but not to make a deposit, to instead take the letter and check to a Representative and Verify that this is exactly what it is and I needed someone else besides myself to see what was sent to me. I made copies of the material for myself, sent a text message of pictures to family and even Contacted the actual Company that this supposed Specialist was Representing. I asked their Customer Service if this promotion was real and they answered back within the hour that it was a Scam. The Company, Bing Energy Beverage Co. They are not offering a promotional Car Wrap position!!! Almost got caught...what now? Do these people keep trying after they've been found out, what do you do with the Check they sent? Who do you turn it into?

It would seem to me that if everyone continued to take the fake checks, then do nothing, the scammers would lose money on materials and stamps. Maybe I don’t fully understand the associated hassle.

Ninety nine percent of my landline calls are for political donations or scams (or both) so I never answer it unless I know who is calling. Saves me a lot of hassle!

This is what happened to me . I was sent $4000. Dollar check certified mail, my mom signed for it. I was told in the letter to text some one so I did. They said to deposit it into my account and text message when I had. I messaged them that my bank would put a 13 day hold on the check. They tolld me the bank wouldnt. Itook it to the bank asked to teller if the check was good he said it was and would be cleared in the morning. It was and was also taken out of my account. Wells Fargo now has taken my social security check because I couldn't stop the direct deposit on time. Wellfargo said in their letter they could not take my deosits my still did

I was sent a check for $1950 by “ The McCain Family Foundation!” I was to call 323-289-8281 and let them know that I had received it! (FedX) I did then they continuously started texting did I deposit the check! I got text from my daughter about the commission and I told them I’m sending your info to them if they say you’re legitimate I will call you back! No more texts

I was scammed with the car wrap in Aug. 2019. Now I owe the bank 3008.00 dollars. I had to quit my job so I could care for my father with stage 4 colon cancer. I seen the ad and I thought what a great way to earn some money. So I thought. Wrong!!!

Could we have permission to use this infograph for internal and external education at a credit union?

Thanks for checking, but you don't need permission! All infographics and information from the FTC is free and in the public domain, so please use it however you like. You can download, copy, drop into your newsletter or training materials  ... we're glad that it's useful to you.

We have free print material you can order too at www.FTC.gov/Bulkorder. Get brochures, bookmarks and worksheets about money and credit in English and Spanish. The material is free, and shipping is free too. If you have other questions, send another blog comment.

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