I’m sure everyone has seen those “wrapped” cars that are driving around, the cars that are completely covered in all types of advertising, and there are real businesses that employ this form of advertising. However, there is a scam going around which attempts to exploit this marketing method, and it’s known as the Car Wrap Scam.
This scam is just a reworked version of the old “fake check scam.” The scam advertisement will usually claim to be from an assortment of sources, such as Monster Energy, Heineken, or Red Bull. Here is an example of what you might encounter:
Scammers place ads on the internet or send mass emails looking to entice people who want to make some extra money. They claim they will pay you to shrink-wrap your car with an advertisement of one of those popular companies. All that you have to do to make your money is drive your car around as you normally would. Sounds pretty good right?
Well, not so fast… These scammers will promise to pay you a certain amount to “rent” the space on your car, but instead of paying you like a normal company would, they send you a check for more than that amount agreed upon. (Just like the fake money order scam — see our story from July 15) They tell you to deposit the check, take your share of the money, and wire the rest of it to the company that will wrap your car. Weeks after you wire the money, which could be thousands of dollars, you find out the deposited check was a fake.
It takes only a few days for the money to become available from your bank, and often you might think everything is OK since the money is available, but it can take weeks for your bank to determine that the check is a fake. Since you are ultimately responsible for any check that you deposit, when that fake check is returned to the bank you are left on the hook and have to pay the bank back.
Thanks to WafflesAtNoon.com the following is an example of a real “car wrap scam” email:
Subject: Participate In the Redbull Car Advertisement Agent (BE PAID TO DRIVE)
We are currently seeking to employ individuals world wide. How would you like to make money by simply driving your car advertising for RED BULL.
How it works?
Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept: RED BULL seeks people — regular citizens,professional drivers to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big advert for “RED BULL” plastered on your car. 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, eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it’s a form of advertising with a captive audience,meaning people who are stuck in traffic can’t avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them. This program will last for 3 months and the minimum you can participate is 1 month.
You will be compensated with $600 per week which is essentially a “rental” payment for letting our company use the space no fee is required from you RED BULL shall provide experts that would handle the advert placing on your car. You will receive an up front payment of $300 inform of check via courier service for accepting to carry this advert on your car.
It is very easy and simple no application fees required contact email along with the following you are interested in these offer.
Send the Details below to firstname.lastname@example.org
Make of car/ year:
We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive this information.
So what can you do to avoid falling victim to one of these scams? The following are a few tips that will help you avoid the aggravation altogether.
- Never send money to someone that you don’t know. No matter if they want you to use a wire transfer service or to send cash. If you are set on sending someone money, make sure you use something that provides protection.
- If anyone asks you to wire money, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. Scammers usually require people to wire money because it is nearly impossible to reverse transaction and the money can’t be followed.
- Don’t respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial information, regardless of whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text, or an ad.
- Under no circumstance ever agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then wire money back to them. No matter what they tell you, this is a scam.
If you ever get an offer that entails depositing a check and wiring money back:
Throw it in the trash! Genuine companies will never pay you by requesting you to wire money to them.
If you are ever tempted to consider the offer, ask for a check drawn on a local bank or local branch. Then, go to the bank in person, show them the check and have them verify that it is legitimate. Under no circumstance, never withdraw any money until your bank tells you the check is valid.