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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. Want to know more? Read our articles to learn how to spot variations on fake checks and money wiring scams.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Truth over lies
September 06, 2017

In reply to by Angela

I got the same. I though it was legit but now I have to believe it's a scam. They asked me to deposit it and send confirmation. If I get a check. I will send a copy to the ftc. It's a hustle.
May 03, 2018

In reply to by wizard75

This is a ducking scam, I got one from Dominos saying that they would pay me $580 a week just for renting my car, my gut was telling me this was just a scam , so I looked it up on the internet and that just confirm it, so I took the check to the police and file a report. Then I texted the guy and told him that I was out, he got mad and told me to duck off.... But I'm glad I didn't cash that check, becareful y'all
October 26, 2018

In reply to by wizard75

Im going through this right now. Glad i read all these or else i would've been next.
November 19, 2019

In reply to by wizard75

Hi I maybe in a process of a scam now if u can help me please help me
April 24, 2020

In reply to by wizard75

I have the same problem just occured from April 16 to 23 of 2020. The dude aka Thomas turner (have a strong Indian accent) have the audacity to give me specific instructions to cash out 3200 dollars for some pepsico product it just happen its amp energy drink with mine and I didn't cash it out because i know it's a scam. They sent me a book of jpmorgan chase book checks written on my name on it. The bank account that was in jp morgan chase has worth 5000 dollar. He asked me several times to write a check on my name that I didn't OPEN AN ACCOUNT AT, AT THE FIRST PLACE and has the audacity to say that the money isnt for ME but from a company. I told him several times IAM not interested writing and cashing out for me and for some company I don't know of. And I told the dude your a scammer and IAM NOT GOING TO CASH OUT A BOGUS CHECK FOR ME OR TO ANYONE.
August 03, 2016
Are any of the car wrapping advertisements real?
BR 549
August 03, 2016

In reply to by Rwj55

I reckon they are real , But you aint fixin to get paid nutin
April 15, 2017

In reply to by Rwj55

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.
January 05, 2018

In reply to by Rwj55

Solar City they send their vendors to wrap your car and u get $400 a week for as long as ur signed contract say so if u sign for 6 mo u will get $400 a week for 6 mo they haven't said anything to me about keeping part of money and sending money so I think this one might be good
July 08, 2019

In reply to by Cullum

I have a check now just received it not sure if legit so I'm waiting all these scams
August 03, 2016
Thanks for information, God bless all of you keeping us safe
August 03, 2016
Why would anyone want their car shrink wrapped?
August 03, 2016

In reply to by Rick

Its not shrinked wrap, its an advertising banner but its using the wrap technology that would allow banner to stick to your car
Just sayin
September 07, 2017

In reply to by Rick

I have personally know one to get their truck "shrunk wrapped" the ENTIRE TRUCK ASIDE of lights ect.. they had a 3 he contract agreement for advertising. The truck owner (smart I say!) "SOLD" PLACES in truck i.e. front back quarters. Tail hate hood and doors of which they all came upon an agreed wrap. Then he had the truck "shrink wrapped" the amount from the advertising pd his payments for truck w cash to boot! Pd off his truck in 3 yes. AT the end of 3 yr contract he "peeled" off the wrap to unveil a truck that looked brand New! Truck tailored a boat daily that was in and out of salt water. No scratches, dings or any other mars were found in the trucks finish. Soooo maybe if properly researched this sort of wrapping can protect your vehicle longer?? As well as potential profit bearing? Id food for thought.
April 01, 2020

In reply to by Just sayin

I realize this was posted several years ago at this point, but that was so difficult to decipher. I'm wondering if there are any good, legitimate opportunities like this anymore?
September 13, 2017

In reply to by Rick

In the hopes of making a few extra dollars. I am on disability and would love to help out my hard working husband any way I can. I've always been a hard worker, but am unable to do that now so I thought, I can drive around with a wrapped car.
Silver 1010
August 03, 2016
All this that is happening are these scram getting catch.
nice old lady
August 03, 2016
This happened to me. Mystery Shopper, caused me a lot of grief and Money. Thank you for watching out for us.
May 04, 2017

In reply to by nice old lady

I've had the same thing happen to me with mystery shopper and it messed up my account.
August 18, 2017

In reply to by Lovelygurl

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.
March 10, 2018

In reply to by nice old lady

I have received 4 checks from a mystery shopper to a shrink wrap car for Budweiser I did not cash any of them took them to My Credit Union and Had them hold them to see if they cleared all were fake even received messages like We sent You a check Why haven't You done Your part of the deal once I told them thanks for the check but had to use it to pay off debts could You send Me another one or just said check is a fake and never heard anything else from them I have 2 checks in my filing cabinet marked scam one way to yell if the check is good from a company is there will be a water mark on the back My Credit Union told Me this one so I am hoping some day I get a legit deal from a company because I sure could use the Money I'm on disability worked My whole life and don't even make $1000 a month so My word to Everyone is have the bank or Credit Union hold the check til it clears or You will be liable for the repayment of the check hope this helps good luck everyone
August 03, 2016
Is their any real work at home jobs ?
July 13, 2017

In reply to by mrouky72

Yes. Get a degree in IT and many companies allow you to work from home.
Fatman joe
August 03, 2016
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.
January 06, 2018

In reply to by Fatman joe

That happened to my husband. He was able to drive to the property to find out it was a fake. He was livid with the power company didn’t understand why they were conducting business that way. They don’t.
Ana in Texas
August 03, 2016
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.
August 11, 2016

In reply to by Ana in Texas

Can you give me more info on these people? This is who we were going through as well. Haven't sent them money yet.
Amy in Texas
August 12, 2016

In reply to by texas361

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.
Amy in Texas
August 12, 2016

In reply to by Ana in Texas

Hello Ana in Texas I am going through the same thing with that company.
August 12, 2016

In reply to by Amy in Texas

A friendly reminder from the FTC Blog:

We will not post comments that do not comply with our commenting policy. We may edit comments to remove links to commercial websites or personal information before posting them.

Comments submitted to this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personal information.

Amy in Texas
August 15, 2016

In reply to by Ana in Texas

Can you contact me 956-xxx-xxxx
August 03, 2016
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.
Barb in Denver
August 05, 2016

In reply to by booker

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!
August 08, 2016

In reply to by booker

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.
October 31, 2016

In reply to by booker

Jasmin,My fiance got the same cBluhey wanted him to go to target buy a moneygram to send money. Thank God we knew better.
A collections …
March 14, 2017

In reply to by booker

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.
Stang girl07
August 19, 2017

In reply to by booker

I to have received such calls and when I told the last one that I knew it was a scam he threatened to chop my head off! I have also gotten to where I just tell them in the beginning that I am recording the conversation and they hang up.
August 04, 2016
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.
August 06, 2016
August 08, 2016
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.
May 25, 2017

In reply to by fllady61

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!
June 02, 2017

In reply to by tiffany05

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.
June 12, 2017

In reply to by SoSo

I got scammed with pensje their sending me the check. What did u do did u cashing if?
FTC Staff
June 12, 2017

In reply to by Jenlove

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.

June 20, 2017

In reply to by FTC Staff

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 .
Nicole in Indi…
July 20, 2017

In reply to by CrazyWorld

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.
November 26, 2018

In reply to by SoSo

What happened when you deposited the check? Did you get in trouble?
October 16, 2017

In reply to by tiffany05

The same thing happened to me with monster. For you guys that didn't cash the check what did you do with it. I just received a chexk today and I am definitely not cashing it. Just trying to figure out what's the best thing to do. Because the address on the return is in North Carolina, the address on the check is in California and the phine number listed is a Florida phone number. These people are horrible. The bad part is I declined this offer once they didn't answer my questions and they still sent the check.