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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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April 08, 2019

In reply to by Kano

I'm waiting for a check too there telling me to send the remains in money order to n.c...there to wrap my car with tosihiba ad is this real I'm confused ..
April 13, 2019

In reply to by Loujay

Don't believe it, it's a scam. BUYER BEWARE, you've been warned.
beautifully me
May 13, 2019

In reply to by Loujay

Wow this is really going on, I'm happy I google it. I received emails about having my car wrapped for monster energy drink and I thought it would be kind of cool so I responded back to them with my info and then I just received the check and your right it's for a few thousand dollars and they say to deposit it and send the rest to their sticker company for the fee of wrapping my car. I received a cashiers check about 2 months ago that was a mystery shopping job and same thing it was for a few thousand and I was to keep I think 350 and the rest to buy google play cards and scratch the numbers off on the back and send them the numbers I actually deposited it at my bank but my bank had put a 10 day hold on it thank god because guess what it bounced and I was still charges 10 dollars for a check return fee and now this monster energy drink person keeps texting me this is our message.. Hi this from MONSTER ENERGY DRINK We got your information and the check has been mailed out to you so once is ready i will give you the tracking number Hello, Davu Moore They sent that at 8:03 on the 8th and I never responded because I didn't have time yet and then at 8:13 they send one saying hello with my first and last name so I responded and said hello and here's the rest Hello i want to inform you that the check has been deliver to you .Here is the tracking number ( 787144358018 ) "this was friday" once again I didn't respond and they sent this You there ?? Once again I didn't respond because I was already having my doubts and just yesterday they sent me this one HI AGAIN IN FACT THIS IS A MESSAGE OF WHICH AM USING TO EXPRESS MY NEGATIVE FEELINGS TOWARD YOU HAVE COMPLETELY MAKE THINGS BAD,BUT YOU STILL HAVE THE CHANCE OF TODAY FOR YOU TO GET BACK TO ME ELSE YOU WILL FIND YOUR SELF IN BIG TROUBLE.... So I tried calling them and of course nobody answers and it's a damn google voice number so I text them back saying I just tried calling you and so on and so on and I told them I didn't cash any check. If I have the number can't someone trace it? I mean this is crazy that they can just keep doing this
Rob W.
January 07, 2021

In reply to by Loujay

Just call the bank that is on the check and ask if it legit
July 22, 2019

In reply to by Kano

I currently have 5 fraudulent cashiers checks sitting here in front of me. I haven't deposited any of them. All sent USPS and all apoearing real. All scams. Rush energy drink. Secret shopper. Mystery shopper. Busch beer wrap. don't do it
November 22, 2019

In reply to by Kano

All these stories about checks and scams, I’ve got 5 checks ranging from $2450 to $4650 first was 5 separate secret shopper scam and all sent Fedex but in my mailbox, this latest one was the monster energy drink decal or car wrap which I was hopeful was good but like they say too good to be true the bank worker pulled up a check by this bank and they were pretty similar but not good enough!! That’s only way to be safe if your bank is no help wait the entire 2 weeks to be safe or get on google someone else out there has seen it before you I’ll bet! I tried contacting police the first time and I’m not sure if it was a joke or what but they had me call the secret service. He was a very nice gentalman.
November 18, 2020

In reply to by Suzieque63

This same thing happened to me today from monster energy drink they sent a check for 2,850 delivered from fedex I went to the bank and the lady said it was a fraudulent check then I knew it was a scam. It’s sad that it’s people out here willing to screw people over.
December 20, 2017

In reply to by djreynolds23

So did you take it to the check cashing place? They just sent me a check for 3,000 I'm sure its a scam but I'm wondering if the check cashing place will still give me money?
March 17, 2018

In reply to by Mimi

OF COURSE IT IS A SCAM. Yes, people are broke. Yes, it’s tempting. NO, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS EASY FREAKING MONEY.
February 25, 2018

In reply to by djreynolds23

A check cashing store will take your id information. If the check they cash bounces, then they will sue you for the full amount, if you don't pay all of it back (plus add their interest rates) also they put it on your credit report!
June 27, 2018

In reply to by Foolme1x

Depending on the amount, they can also get a judgement agai bbn st you to include an arrest warrent....
March 09, 2018

In reply to by djreynolds23

They are using stolen checks. Same thing happened to me but I cought it before any damage was done,the check cleared but it didn't feel right so I did some digging and things didn't add up. I went to my bank and reported it and they said it is absolutely a scam. if you send the money to someone or spend it then you will be charged with with several felonies so don't do it and tell your bank and they will take care of it immediately and they will contact the people that the checks were stolen from to let them know that money has been taken out of the account and the bank will return it to them.
April 16, 2018

In reply to by Carey

So grateful for this site. I almost fell for it. Got my $2900 cashier's check. When I started to look at all the different addresses they weren't the same.Do some of the research thru local car wrap companies,Better Business Bureau,look up up their website too Don't fall for this, Monstercaradvert @live. com

CatB e your e-…
July 13, 2019

In reply to by Kali

Everything looks real, but a little voice in my head kept saying, do some research. The envelope the check came in had a suspicious return address and the bank logo didn't quite look right on the check. Glad I came across this site. Confirms my suspicions. Think I will still go to my bank with the check to report the scam.
August 09, 2018

In reply to by Carey

Be careful how you word it to the bank. I took a check in a few years back, to the fiancial institution, and they called the cops on me. The check was definitely fraudulent.
November 26, 2018

In reply to by djreynolds23

You may get your $500 but you will also get the felony charge for fraudulent document along with it as well as court cost a d restoration Roy will have to pay back.
September 14, 2018

In reply to by djreynolds23

When you cash a check at a check cashing establishment you have to show your I D. So it comes back on you this way also. The check bounces the police is called and they come visit you. Understand now.
August 04, 2019

In reply to by djreynolds23

But what happens to you if the check is fake & check bounces at the check cashing place? Would you still be responsible in paying them back? And how do you tell if it is a scam if you do not want to use your bank to be safe?
FTC Staff
August 09, 2019

In reply to by Mommy4

You are responsible for the checks you deposit or cash. If a check bounces, you have to repay the bank or check cashing business the money they gave you for the bounced check.

July 30, 2020

In reply to by Mommy4

The absolute best way to find out if a check is fake: go into ANY bank and ask one of the people sitting at a desk, NOT the ones behind the counter, to please, ‘verify the checks authenticity’. That way your account information is safe and you find out the truth about it... These scammers are getting better at fake checks, they’re learning to use the same type of check papers that specific big name companies use, so ‘be prepared, not scared’, that’s my motto...
May 12, 2020

In reply to by djreynolds23

The check is fraudulent and no matter who cashes it, they will get burnt and are going to hold you responsible for the amount of the check and much more. In some jurisdictions you may even be tried and convicted of a crime.
A-one Critiques4u
December 24, 2020

In reply to by djreynolds23

Want to know what the outcome of this situation, getting your money upfront and being able to use a check cashing business. Sometimes when things sound too good to be true, normally it is. Flip side, it could be legit and what a missed opportunity this would be. To earn a little extra money during the holidays and most definitely during this pandemic 2020. Skeptic yet realistic
December 15, 2019

In reply to by G

I received a cashiers check for $2,950 by UPS Express next day delivery. I was told by text message to deposit it then call them! I checked the bank First Reliance bank, Florence SC, it does exist. I haven't done anything with it. This was from Budweiser Regional coordinator supossely! This is for wrappings my car, what should I do?
Papa F
January 29, 2020

In reply to by Bernie

I got the same, except a grand more. Destroy the check before it destroys you
A-one Critiques4u
December 24, 2020

In reply to by Papa F

Is there anyone out there with anything good to say? Perhaps, I deposited the check there have been no repercussion from the bank or the company and I have just ended this assignment and about to begin another getting paid as promised for auto wrap campaign. Come on now is their anyone out there who has tried this and been successful? Enquiring mind
Don't use your…
November 24, 2017

In reply to by raizen31

Rcvd exact message same person have check now but its written on cyber grant Aetna corporation account and came from Michigan state university even though phillips and his friend are in moss oak Cali. Looked up numbers they text from and found one has made almost half million while other has made almost 60000. Is it a scam or no
December 07, 2017

In reply to by Don't use your…

I was taken by a similar scam. One of the most important pieces of advice I received from the bank is this, if you suspect that the check is fraudulent, speak to a Bank Manager and explain the situation. They are able to fast process the check in these instances and know whether it is legitimate or not. In my case, I had deposited the check, and was told after three days that the funds were available in my account, so I waited another 3 days before touching the funds. A couple of days later, something told me something wasn't right and I went to the bank and asked them to verify the funds as I was concerned, and sure enough the check was bad. It was even drawn on Bank of America. These scam artists have this down to a science in replicating authenticate looking checks. Banks are only required to let you know when the funds are available in your account, not whether the check has cleared all systems. That can take up to 6 months. Which happened to a friend. 6 months after they had deposited a check, the bank came back and said that after extensive attempts to obtain the funds, the account was bad and that they would have to repay the funds. These scammers are not only using Western Union and Money Gram they have started using PayPal as well. As the police told me, never trust someone who over pays and tells you that you can keep the extra money. Good luck everyone and do your homework.
Unemployed mom
May 12, 2019

In reply to by DaniLady65

I just found this site. Today I got a text about wrapping my car for Dr. Pepper, and that I would receive 500.00 per week. I'm over 50, unemployment will run out soon. I seen cars with advert wrap. I thought it was legit. I called my brother he thought legit too. So I followed link and completed form, but left out my age. I kept copy of it. But I sense it was not right afterwards, si I searched and found this site. I know better now feeling stupid for putting my contact info out there. All I wanted was a legit opportunity to work. Scammers, smh... But I read all the post if I get anything in mail I will refuse it a return to sender. Not taking to bank or ck place. I feel so stupid but now I know more better. I hope others will read this post. Don't give out address name, email phone number. I'm sure Dr. Pepper company is not asking people to do this. People beware, don't fall for it. Just in case scammers maybe reading these post, just to see what people are saying. People are hurting and want to do right things earn honestly or connect to legit business to make money but, scammers are out there predators to take advantage. Yes , I'm sure they got my cell number from multiple job sites per my search and sent me the text I fell for initially. So be careful out there and keep searching for the legit work opportunity, stay positive and it will work out. Avoid, any mail addressed to you related to car wrapping. Contact authorities.
March 03, 2018

In reply to by Don't use your…

Sounds like the methods, timing of the banks gives scammers an edge. The recipient never gets the advantage of knowing on time if check is legit. Then the recipient is liable in court for the stupid banks "we can't verify that until ???" Change the bank rules so we can do business and know for sure funds are available on a given check without the damned hassle of legal problems. Are we in a stupid country or what?
FTC Staff
March 05, 2018

In reply to by Radar1

Under federal law, banks generally must make funds available to you from U.S. Treasury checks, most other governmental checks, and cashier’s checks, certified checks, and teller’s checks, one business day after you deposit the check.

For other checks, banks must make the first $200 available the day after you deposit the check. The rest of the money must be made available on the second business day after the deposit.

However, just because funds are available on a check you deposit doesn’t mean the check is good. You can't rely on the check being good until the bank confirms that the check has cleared. It can take weeks to discover and untangle a forgery. 

Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check are deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check.

May 08, 2018

In reply to by Radar1

You can call the bank the check is issued from and verify that the account numbers are legit and the bank account has a balance. That doesn't help determine if the withdrawal is legit though. The other party notices that a check was cashed against their account and initiates a fraud claim and then everything goes into limbo.
July 22, 2018

In reply to by Radar1

If only it was that simple. Just because people work in a bank doesn’t mean they can spot out every detail. Banks always have and always will have 10’s of thousands of customers per one of their employees, making it impossible to do such a thing. The bank only handles what you put in and what you take out. They can spot several fraudulent withdrawals because the transaction took place far from where your spending habits come from but, check deposits, wiring money and withdrawals are up to you to determine for the best interest of your own financial well-being. It does suck and it’s easy to blame the bank for your misfortune but you can’t expect a bank to hold your hand every step of the way. When you make adult decisions you have to accept adult consequences. A bank is just a bookkeeper you are the one who rolls the dice.
August 29, 2018

In reply to by Radar1

You are absolutely right. I can't believe in this day and age your bank can't verify it when a check is bad within hours really. Maybe they know it's counterfeit but know their customer has to pay in the end. How much money are they making off this scam, hmmm?
January 21, 2020

In reply to by Jackie89020Don…

Yeah well that's what is the scariest is that you place your hard earned money into a bank that you trust they have the knowledge and the staff who will do whatever they can to protect your money. If you can't rely on a bank to know when you are trying to deposit a fraudulent check into your account then why would you put your money in their hands. But I just received an email today telling me that AMP Energy drink logo will pay me for 10 weeks $500 a week if I put their logo on my car and drive with the sticker on it every place I travel within the 10 week period. I know this is a scam so I played along with them and asked them to give me the name of the company that will be installing the sticker on my car and I have not received a response. When I completed the application online for this company, I was told they would be sending me a response by email if I'm accepted. So automatically when I got the text it was in question. I have reported the text message to the authorities because I know I will not hear back from this person.
January 31, 2021

In reply to by Kathi292

Hello, I also got a text from Amp Energy Drink logo. That they would pay me $600 a week for 3 months to put their logo on my car. Can you please tell me who you reported them to so I could do the same. Thank you
January 16, 2018

In reply to by raizen31

I got the same exact message from the same exact person. Did you ever find out if it was legitimate?
January 31, 2018

In reply to by raizen31

Was that a scam. I got one from Gatorade just like this.
Gma D
February 13, 2018

In reply to by McBeth

My daughter received one from Gatorade today in a text message on her cell phone. Told her something this simple and good wasn't legal and probably a scam.
February 08, 2018

In reply to by raizen31

I just got this but it says it's from ANHEUSER BUSCH what did you find out
March 07, 2018

In reply to by Mimi03

I just got one from same place. Is this a scam as well??
March 11, 2018

In reply to by raizen31

I just got the same exact word for word message just a different name
March 16, 2018

In reply to by Tiffkhaos

Car wrap scam hit again this time it was “Dr Pepper “ The bank said it was a fraud check
May 11, 2018

In reply to by MAD in GA

I just got one from Budweiser a couple days ago. Saying they were going to send me the check for $500, and that they would send somebody out from Budweiser to wrap my car. They had mentioned that there's no deposits and no fees to start this up. However, I've been scammed so many times in the last year that I'm overwhelmed. I'm not really sure what the advantage is to them.