Scams & Deception

Scam Alert: Car Wrap Sales Pitch

Scam Alert: Car Wrap Sales Pitch


If you receive an email offering to wrap your car in advertising in exchange for a weekly paycheck, be aware that this is likely a scam.

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The Email

Everyone has seen those “wrapped” cars driving around in which the auto is completely covered in advertising. There are in fact legitimate businesses which utilize this form of advertising. However, there is an email scam going around which attempts to tap into this marketing method, and it’s known as the Car Wrap Scam. This is just a new version of the old “over-payment scam.” The email may claim to be from a variety of sources, such as Red Bull, Monster Energy, Bud Light, or Heineken. We have encountered several variants of this scam (two are featured below).

The Scam

The email initially seems harmless enough, in which the recipient is told they will receive $300-$400 per week to simply drive around with advertising on their cars. At first, the sender only requests your basic contact information, presumably in an attempt to appear as benign as possible. The scammer will then offer to send you a check for a large amount, such as $1800. They’ll tell you to deposit the check, take out your first week of pay, and wire the rest to a graphic house which will customize the wrap for your car.

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And they’ll pressure you to wire that money quickly because the check is fake – and it will bounce.

Unsuspecting victims deposit this bogus check and wire money out of their account to the scammer (posing as a graphic house) before the check has cleared. When the check finally bounces, the victim has lost whatever money they wired out.

Below are a couple of sample emails we’ve seen in this car wrap scam. The first is an initial email, and the second is a follow-up email after we took the bait for another variant to see what they’d say next.

Email #1: Red Bull

Subject: Participate In the Redbull Car Advertisement Agent (BE PAID TO DRIVE)

ATTENTION!!!

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 [email protected]

Full Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Zip code:
Country:
Present Occupation:
Age/Sex:
Make of car/ year:
Telephone numbers:
Email:

We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive this information.

Kind Regards,

Michael Sparrow
909-666-5049
Advert Manager,
Red Bull

Email #2: Henekin

This is a follow-up email from a similar scam:

Dear Applicant

Thanks for your prompt response,It is Very Easy and Simple with No Application fees required : Here’s how It works – The basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept

HEINEKEN seeks people — regular citizens, not professional drivers — to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big advert for “HEINEKEN” 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 and 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 and can’t avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them. This program will last for 3 months and the minimum period you can participate is 1 month.

You will be compensated with a $400 (four hundred dollars per Week),which is essentially a “rental” payment for letting our company use the space. HEINEKEN shall provide Experts that would handle the advert placing on your car. You will receive an up front payment of $400 (four hundred dollars) inform of check for accepting to carry this advert on your car and other weekly payments will also come in the form of checks and delivered at your address weekly.

The following information below will be needed

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/home :
Email Address:

We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive these information, HEINEKEN looks forward to working with you.

Hiring Manager
David Hutckins

Consumer Alerts

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) have both issued warning to the public regarding Car Wrapping Scams. Consumer Affairs also addressed the Carp Wrap Scam in 2015, noting, “if there are companies offering decent sums of money for essentially no work at all, especially in this none-too-good economy, those companies are not mass-emailing strangers in a desperate attempt to find job candidates — such a company would already have plenty of applicants, and can damned well afford to be picky about who it hires.”

In addition, warnings about such scams have appeared on many television newscasts around the country.

Watch one of these newscasts from WLOS News 13 out of North Carolina:

Bottom Line

Whenever someone offers to send you money and asks you to wire a portion back, this is an indication you are being scammed, regardless of how convincing they sound. If you receive an email like one of the samples above, you’re better off just deleting it and moving on.

Have you been contacted by a scammer like the ones listed above? Let us hear from you in the comments below!

Updated January 17, 2016
Originally published February 2013

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  • Jessica Horstman

    Has anyone been emailed by north beer with a similar email as above?

  • Jennifer Kucera

    this just happened today…i’ve answered 2 other ads on craigslist, 1 for mystery shopping and another to do purchasing and shipping for someone. i played along and got 2 different checks from 2 different companies. i called the one company and spoke with their accountant. they said they’ve been getting hundreds of calls on these fake checks of theirs!!

  • Jennifer Kucera

    pit bull energy drink will send me 1800…i responded to an ad on craigslist!!!

  • Kris Huckleberry

    Craigslist scam for me. I decided to check up on this before I bought into it. Sounded too good to be true and it was. The contact number for Kevin B for the scam I found is 1-610-541-8085 if anyone wants to contact him. 🙂

  • Wolf

    I did this for Rock Star Energy Drink but I didn’t send the checks in, my bank told me it was scam so they held the check for 7 days to make sure it was either legit or fake. Apparently they’re fake so they shredded the checks. And thanks to my sister; showing me this post. I no longer trust email ads to make quick money. So I’m gonna get a better job.

    Do not believe a woman from Rock Star Energy drink by the name of Marissa Pharris.

  • herb13

    Now they’re using Donald Trump’s name in an offer to advertise on my truck. Just got a check in the mail for $1750! WooHoo!!! If only it was real…I could really use it right now!

    I turned in all that was sent to the USPS fraud inspector…

  • Thomas Phillips

    I actually have the check. It was supposed to be pit bull energy drink. The return address on the check, which came priority mail, is from Lincoln tech college in Florida and the check is made out by Gwinnett medical foundation. I have messed with these guys for two days now. I told them their check was fake and that they should pay the exper themselves instead of having me do it. I told them that I would consider doing something after the check actually clears. But of course I have no intention of depositing it in my account. The check is 2150.00. I told them to give the name and location of the “specialist” and I would speak with him. I am having a ball messing with these guys. I told them how stupid they were to actually use names of businesses that have nothing to do with pit bull.

  • Tiffany Leitch

    Red rain Energy drink (Jason yun) sent me an email and a check. My bank put a hold on the check and I refused to send them any money until the check cleared. It didn’t and the bank informed me it was a scam so I am being charged a fee (they said once I’m charged i can probably have it removed. I’m going to turn the check and my emails into the police.

  • Jeannine Gonzalez

    i just recieved one in the amount of 1450.45 what should i do

  • Ashley Yacone

    I just received a text from someone telling me that they wanted to pay me $600 to advertise on craigslist. I went along with it until they asked me to post that “pitbull wants to pay you to wrap your car!” thanks to this site i knew it was a scam and told them not to contact me again.

    Thanks everyone!

  • Arletta Shenfeld

    Just the fact that they pay you/you pay the graphics company sounds phony. They should take care of all of that directly. They’re saying you don’t have to pay anything – but if that was true, you wouldn’t have to be the middle man either.

  • Heather Hudson

    I just received an email like this one from a “TOMS” promotional manager named Michael Hughes. It came to my work email, which automatically was a red flag in my mind because I don’t give out that account to anyone outside of coworkers. First thing I did was hit Google to confirm my suspicions and I am so glad I did.

    • Arletta Shenfeld

      Just received one today from TOMS in the work “info” mailbox. They made the subject line “TomS job application” to make it seem more legit. But you can tell by the text of the email that whoever wrote it has poor communication skills (which someone in advertising would not). The email is from Michael Hughes ([email protected])

  • Will

    I just received this exact same email! I was extremely suspicious sense the email address the guy “Patrick Benson” used was not a company email. Then the pay seemed ridiculous. I mean, $800 a week to wrap my car in a decal?! And no minimum distance I need to drive. What if I left my car parked all the time? Anyway, that’s what brought me here. I’m staying the heck away from these unsolicited offers in my spam folder.

  • Joe James

    I got this one from Dr pepper. I was actually excited at first. Then Google crushed my dreams as always, lol.

    Hello,

    We are currently seeking to employ individual’s world wide. How would you like to make money by simply driving your car,lorry, or a truck advertising for Diet Dr Pepper.

    How it works?

    Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept: Diet Dr Pepper  seeks people — regular citizens,professional drivers to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big advert for “Diet Dr Pepper Drink” plastered on your car, Trucks or lorry.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 6 months and the minimum you can participate is 3 months.

    You will be compensated with $300 per week which is essentially a “Rental” payment for letting our company use the space no fee is required from you, Diet Dr Pepper shall provide experts that would handle the advert placing on your car. You will receive an up front payment of $600 inform of check via courier service for accepting to carry this advert on your car,lorry or Truck.

    It is very easy and simple , no application fees required contact email along with the following if you are interested in these offer.

    Full Name:
    Physical Address:
    City:
    State:
    Zip code:
    Age:
    Make of car/ year:
    Exterior Color of Car:
    Telephone numbers:
    Email Address:
    Do you have a driver’s license? YES/NO?

    We will contact you immediately we receive this information.

    Hiring Manager
    Sanora Flores
    [email protected]

    Regards.

  • David J Winters

    I got that one too. Sneaky devils.

  • Sabriya

    I also received an email from someone by the name of Larry Faulkner about payment for wrapping my car.

    • David J Winters

      I got the same guy claiming to be the hiring manager for full throttle energy drink. I told him I didn’t get the check if he could wire me the money we could then proceed still waiting on that wire. Hope he sends it soon. lol I didn’t fall for this.

  • Paul Murphy

    One of the numbers to watch out for is (276)447-0871 that’s the one that kept texting me after I said no I’m good.

  • Bonnie

    I received an email from TOMS Promotional Manager David James, and was just contacted by the “Decal Specialist”. The scam is as follows: I will receive an upfront fee of 0, and fee for the decal specialist of ,000 for him to come and place the ad. I will receive a certified cashiers check every 2 weeks for ,600. The contract term is minimum of 3 months and max of 6 months. Decal specialist needs my address, even though I’ve already given it to the Promotions Manager of “TOMs”.

  • Cortney Hughes

    Craiglist has a posting up with the Mountain Dew advertisement for $400 a week. I was hoping it was legit because I love Mountain Dew and thought it would be a nice side money maker. So glad I decided to see if it was a scam as I have already fallen victim to one check scammer on craiglist. Got me for $3,000 at the bank.

  • LAMONT HEADING

    I received an email for this car wrap. Also glad I did my research.

  • Dee Dee Simms

    I just received an email with the same offer for Full Throttle Energy Drink car wrap. Glad to know it’s a scam before I got involved.

  • henry

    Just received email from Pepsi to wrap my car. They said they sent check UPS, was to take my month’s pay and wire the rest to the decal place.

  • Tone

    Yea!!!! Just got one from Pepsi-Cola Corporation. Thanks for warning us of these scams.

  • Andre Peregrina

    I received an e-mail from Monster Energy back on March 5th 2015 I also led them on but never actually received a check and haven’t heard from them again since March 14th.

  • Bessie

    I received one from a Paddy Cho who stated that she was hiring manager for Redrain Energy Drink and then googled it and found out it was a scam.

  • Mr. Disappointed

    Since February 2013!?! It sounded too good to be true, I was gonna have them do that to all my 4 cars. Darn, I was so excited too.

  • nancy

    i had an email scam as well from a Henry saying he can wrap my car with full throttle. He sent me a fake check. Don’t cash it. Report it to authorities.

  • Mike Johnson

    I had a pepsi scam contact me. I led him on until he sent the check for $1900. I had no intention of cashing it. I contacted pepsi and not much happened. Isnt any law enforcement agency going to go after these maggots?

  • aaron

    I got one from Nokia lumina. It’s 400 a week for 8wks to a year. They actually called me yesterday and told me the check has been mailed. The email came from Nokia.

  • zac

    They are going on Facebook and posting the email in threads as well. I just emailed them then googled because I was a skeptic as well. That’s where I found this page! Glad I looked it up.

  • kazmis

    I was emailed today, to have my car wrapped with the Heineken ads. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Bishopville

    I was contacted by one Jennifer Bayton who claim to be a advertising manager for Pepsi cola car wrap, but I watched closely and I asked some questions which she didn’t answer and the whole thing look like it was program because out the information she asked I provided some and withholding some hoping the next email will request for the remain information as it was demanded in first mail but rather it proceeds to tell me how much she gonna send and what to do with the money, then I decide to come Google it to see if Pepsi-Cola was actually doing any stuff like that and if Jennifer Bayton is actually working there; but when I got here I find out what I thought it should be! Please how can we clean this virus (people) from our society?
    And funny enough she has a Facebook account with the same name!

  • tam

    New one out. Car wraps with bud light. From Ricardo Rodriguez. Don’t do it total scam. After I got my check for $2200.00 they told me to wire the money. When I started to ask questions they never got back with me. But they said the check only lasts for 24 hours and that I need to do it right away. Whatever! Anyways. My boyfriends a cop and his father works for the FBI. They said they’ll track them down. Stupid people even texted me.

  • James M

    Geez, I was only offered $300 out of the $1650 they were going to send me, I feel ripped off seeing that people here are being offered $400! I did report it to UNC Wilmington, though, since that’s where this check came from.

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