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

Question: I have 2 phone lines available. Why don't YOU have a phone # that goes DIRECT to a person?? That way, when I get a robo-call, I could call YOU direct so you could trace the call while I played along with the robocaller. Maybe that way some of these clowns could be caught & prosecuted. TX

I'm with you-what can we do - is anyone ever prosecuted?

I contacted monster drinks they said they use company owned cars only and regular employees not the public or contractors.

I do not pay attention to those calls. If it is a robot i hang up. I have had them go so far as to call and say. Thank you for holding. Good bye. Or please hold for the next available csr. I hang up. If they want to talk to me, make it a human being not a programed call machine that puts me on hold for an hour.

I've gotten a few robo calls(my answering machine pu ALL incoming calls) where they act like they are actually talking to someone, for instance they will ask "did I catch u at a bad time?", then even tho I say nothing they say "ok, great I will only take a few minutes of your time", I still say nothing, they say "would you spell your full name & address to be sure we have the info correct?" I say nothing but the call goes on for 5 minutes w/out me saying anything.
Robo calls from politicians at election time really get my goat! Thats an automatic NO vote for them.

The car wrap scam is happening again it has happened to me and my husband wanting us to wrap our car for amp energy

Are any of the car wrapping advertisements real?

I reckon they are real , But you aint fixin to get paid nutin

I would think very rarely. A company would save money wrapping their own property. And we " free" prizes they give the consumer( bumper stickers, window decals, tshirts, glasses, sunglasses, etc.) Is free advertising, so really no reason too. If they're a start up, they would be goimng smaller.

Thanks for information, God bless all of you keeping us safe

Why would anyone want their car shrink wrapped?

Its not shrinked wrap, its an advertising banner but its using the wrap technology that would allow banner to stick to your car

All this that is happening are these scram getting catch.

This happened to me. Mystery Shopper, caused me a lot of grief and Money. Thank you for watching out for us.

I've had the same thing happen to me with mystery shopper and it messed up my account.

Lovelygirl I they're alot good company's that actually pay you to be a mystery shopper. I work one that also host other jobs.

Is their any real work at home jobs ?

Yes. Get a degree in IT and many companies allow you to work from home.

Thank you for the advice, did you know there's been a scam going around telling people who own company's that they are the water and power company telling them they need to pay them a certain amount of money, because if they don't they will turn off all power my perents used to own a buissiness and got tricked into this scam and I'm sure others have been tricked to.

We just apparently got scammed by a company out of McAllen,Texas calling themselves INFINITE PROPERTIES and TG WEALTH. They work through Real Estate companies as InvestorGroup helping Buyers who don't meet regular Home financing options. Am now having to file police report and go through Texas Attorney General and County District Attorney to pursue getting my down payment funds back. So far, ZERO RETURN.

Can you give me more info on these people? This is who we were going through as well. Haven't sent them money yet.

They say that your income is your credit and ask for down payment when you're going to do the contract. I recommend you not giving any money please so you don't become a victim as well. Texas 361.

Hello Ana in Texas I am going through the same thing with that company.

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Can you contact me 956-xxx-xxxx

I have a recording on my ansereing machining from pretending that IRS is preparing a law suit against me that I do not respond I would be arrested I call the number no such number.

I received 4 of these calls in one day recently. A total of 10 in the last 4 months. I guess people still fall for it otherwise they would stop. Makes me sick to even think about good people being scammed!

been there done that too. I called their bluff. I told them the IRS does not call people, and to quit bothering me. Then told them if they had a subpoena to send it to me, and i would deal with it from there. They never called back.

Jasmin,My fiance got the same cBluhey wanted him to go to target buy a moneygram to send money. Thank God we knew better.

For the record you will never be contacted seriously by police or court systems by any way other than proper mail or an officer at your door. It's the reason it's a misdemeanor not to keep your address up dated on your license. At least it is in Kansas. Not be speaking for other states.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the nation’s consumer protection agency. The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace?????? Where & When???
They are doing a terrible job. The Do Not Call list is worthless. Filing a complaint with the FTC is a waste of time. The Agency should be investigated.

THIS IS MIKE FROM FROM WINDOWS CALLS. WHAT I DO IS SAY TO HIM, HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE TO WASH A WINDOW??
HE DOES NOT REPLY. I ASK HIM THE SAME QUESTION AGAIN. THIS IS JUST LIKE FISHING, YOU JUST KEEP PLAYING HIM. AND THEN YOU ASK FOR HIS CREDIT CARD NUMBER. YOU MAY BE SURPRISED BY THE ANSWER.

I was scammed like that recently. however my bank held the check till they got it cleared. Needless to say, the check did not clear because as soon as I told them it was in the account, they closed their bank account, and was hoping for the money. But it did not happen. The wrap was for HYPE Energy Drink. I am glad I have a bank that pays attention instead of paying checks then causing me heartache in a few weeks.

I also just had this happen but with "Apple" they sent me a $2,000 check by USPS and it looked so real. A guy texted me to tell me it would be in the mail today and even gave me a tracking #. Sure enough it was there and I was super excited! He said to check email immediately and I did and it said to keep $500 for my weekly agrees payment and send the remaining $1,500 through western union to a name an address they gave me that was supposedly my rep! That money would pay for wrap and then that rep who lived in California was going to come wrap my car in Ohio! I texted back and asked why wouldn't apple just pay their employees themselves and that apple wouldn't have me wire money and why is the person wrapping my car coming from California to Ohio, why wouldn't apple send someone that was in Ohio? Of course no txt back and that's when I looked up apple scams and came across this! So glad I didn't deposit that check! Cause I almost did!

That's the exact thing I got scammed for, the Apple car wrap around the same day asking me to do the same thing. I was a fool to do that, I wish I would have looked it up first.

I got scammed with pensje their sending me the check. What did u do did u cashing if?

If you deposit a bad check, and send some money to someone and then find out that the check is no good, you have to repay the bank.

It can take weeks for a bank to find out that a check is fraudulent. Even if the check bounces weeks after you sent the money, you have to repay the bank for the fake check.

Be careful who and where you apply for jobs . Ask questions.
If you don't your answers straight . Don't go for it! Save stress and headache. I recently applied to some zip car wrap company and received a check of $1,950 in the mail with No description on it . The envelope didn't matched the check address which gave me a red flag. At first I got super excited because we really need the money . That night I prayed . The next day I couldn't stop thinking about that check so right after work I went to chase bank about depositing a check that I don't know why I got it and the bank teller asked me "Do you know this company?" I replied "No"
When I got home I set on my chair wondering about the scammer . In that moment someone texted me asking if I received the check . Of course I replied back trying to found out what the scammer was up to . That moment he or she told me to check email for further instructions. Really ?? Like that somebody couldn't pick up the phone and call me ?? Red flag again . I checked my email and as I was reading the Stupid email asking me to wired money at the end sentence .. I got mad texted he or she and told I wasn't about to deposit the Check because is Fake . Left me alone . Be careful and always ask questions before depositing a check . If you don't know where or who or why ??? Don't deposit fake checks ! Evil people don't care about us .

I just found this same ad on Craigslist. Is is for Propell water. I really need the money right now but felt like it was too good to be true and glad I looked it up to see it is a scam before I went any further. Said they would send $1950 and I would keep $450 and use the rest to pay the installer. Glad I followed my gut on this one.

I got caught up in a scam about money winnings with the government. the person that introduced me to the sight, was using a friend of mine name. after nearly 2 mos, I was talking to another friend she told me that the friend name was being use was still in town. I finally spoke to her. she had no idea what was going on.

I think. I got a scam, I'm not sure but they asked for money I thought I was getting a job, but to pay for a job

johnnynel79 Is this the email of the "representative ?" The scam is exactly like halls except it was red bull my car and I deposited the check but had a hold on it and the funds became available but I waited 3 days and now the check is not available! Thank God I ddlove my spend money

I got called at least 40 times last week about the IRS claiming to have a lawsuit under my Social Security Number. I never answered the calls but it was an automated recording left on my voicemail it's very annoying they keep calling and filling up my voice mail.

The IRS will never call you ever. Ask for a badge number they won't give you one. It's all a scam

Anytime someone wants you to deposit a check, money order, wire transfer or whatever, into your account, assume it's a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it's a scam. There are too many schemes out there to list. Free money doesn't happen, unless you inherit it and you'll know because an attorney will contact you and not expect you to send money now or later. Taxes will be paid after(if at all)when you file your normal taxes. If someone is asking for money up front for anything other than a legitimate purchase on a reputable site, run screaming the other way! And as far as bashing the FTC or whomever, ALL government agencies are short-handed and underfunded. These con/scam artists are harder to catch than regular criminals. They work a scam, grab money and close down quickly. They have fake accounts and identities; they are ghosts. We have buckets of money being thrown at Homeland Security, so this is not a high priority for the government. They're too busy trying to keep terrorists from committing further atrocities in and against our country.

i wish i could get your help I believe that I know whom is doing alot of these scams the man i live with has a checking account many of them that have 60000 or more of money and he pays out 5x more than he makes but his accounts go up 10000 a mounth after . WHAT????? I am scared of the state police here he called the police on me the first time I found out they were not real police now how did i get that charge agian help if u r a real cop u can get my info

You can report fraud to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

You can give details about the person doing the fraud, and you don't have to give your personal information if you don't want to. The information goes into a secure database that only law enforcement agencies can see.

But if you do give your personal information, the FTC or other law enforcement agencies that see the report can contact you if they need more details.

Can you move? It seems like you are in a scary situation. Maybe buy a cheap phone so that you can reply to that policeman on here with your phone number so he can help. I am on here looking up car wrap scams. I received a $3000 check today. I would like to go to the address of the scammer where I am supposed to send the wire to and take a policeman just so i can see them get arrested. Scammers need to be stopped.

Got scammed of buying iTunes gift cards to pay for car purchase online. Car was posted on Craig's list, emailed owner and said she had contract with EBay Motors to handle the deal. She only needed my name and shipping address to give to eBay who will contact me. So she got it. Received invoice thru email, from eBay Motors. Looked so real but too good to be true. But I needed a car for my daughter. They asked me to pay within 24H with iTunes gift cards. So I bought the cards at Walgreens the cashier asked me what for, then told me why not eBay cards? DING! I already had the cards! Called eBay customers service, forwarded the email, SCAM! Now, I'm working on how to get my money back.

You can call Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 to ask about a refund, or talk to customer service at the store where you purchased the card.

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