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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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March 31, 2020

In reply to by Martib

Just recieved a 2500 check from Fitbit. With a vehicle wrap service contract. Should I deposit this check.?
April 22, 2020

In reply to by Nittie

I just received the same check from Fitbit for Heineken so was it really a scam?
Greg Jones
November 19, 2020

In reply to by Pkay

I received a check for $2500.00 as well on 11/16/20. Didn’t deposit yet, is this a scam and what if I took it to a check cashing place?
June 15, 2017
Zipcarwrap. com is a aware!!!
June 22, 2017
A company tried this with me but noticed their English was incorrect and as soon as l questioned them after sending me false accounts the shut down the site. I was trained by the military to pay close attention to verbiage usage Damon hackers scammer scumbags. Most people are not trained to pick up on these scams. If it is an email block the number and delete email. As a precaution change your bank account and cancel your bank visa card. Also change your email account. I know this is a pain but well worth the effort!
September 10, 2018

In reply to by Gettysburg1111967

The English is off on all of these, and it is a tell tale sign of fraudulent foreign operators. Plus, their business form is not standard for contact. If you google map their addresses, it comes up empty lots, or trailer parks. You can always check the property management and see if they are even listed there. County Tax office will know, as well. And so will local postal office in the immediate area. You can verify checks and funds, by calling the bank directly or going to branch in person to verify. Banks take bigger action, and swifter, when it comes to using their name in fraud. They will leave the local police in their dust when it comes to finding, identifying and arresting fraudsters using their bank name to operate. They do not are what laws they violate to get someone's identity and ring them out to dry. The job gets done ASAP.
June 22, 2017
Couple weeks ago I got email from "Cappy Juice" about wrapping my car for monster energy drinks. Love monster energy drinks so I was in... two days ago I received a check for $2999.85. The check and return sender did not match... what do i do... I gave them all my cars info... and mine except social security number and birthday. .. but my address phone number ect...
June 24, 2017
zip car autowrap sent me a check so went to Wells Frago and they said it was a scam then received another check from a different bank it went to the trash Found on Craigslist Houston just a Big Scam
June 26, 2017
Just cash the check at a check cashing place, keep the $$ and tell em to get a real job and thanks for the bonus...
July 05, 2017
I got a check for 2500$ and they are requesting stuff back, Kinda needed that money to pay off medical bills. Is this a scam?
FTC Staff
July 06, 2017

In reply to by Casper

In some scams, a “company” sends you a check and tells you to deposit the check, keep part of it, and wire the rest to another company.

If the check is no good, eventually it will bounce, after you wired the money. Your bank will tell you it was a fake. The money you kept as “your share” will disappear from your account. The money you wired is gone and you can't get it back. You have to repay the bank for the full amount of the fake check.

July 19, 2017
I just received a check from infusionsofr company auto vinyl wraps beleve is scam
July 20, 2017
I had to look at this email address and I wanted to look it up and I came across this site and it told me it was a scam so I read a little bit more into it I thank you so much for letting me see this and read more into it... This was truly truly a sign that I came across this because I got scammed one time before but that will never happen again but I thank you I thank you from within my heart
Nicole in Indi…
July 20, 2017
I just saw this same ad on Craigslist last night. Saying would send $1950 I would keep $450 and pay the installer $1500. Then would be paid $450/week as long as I kept the car wrapped. I really need the money right now but couldn't help feel that it was a scam. So glad I followed my gut and googled Propel Advertising so not to get sucked in.
February 26, 2018

In reply to by Nicole in Indi…

Hi Nicole ,I thought this was a scam, but freind said let's deposit the money into my bank account. So we did .now what do I do?? Please reply this is the same exact person, I know, I saw it on Craigslist, the check was for the amount of $1950. And witch $450 is for me and the rest ,he is to give me further instructions tomorrow. (Help)
March 05, 2018

In reply to by Bartender28

Do *NOT* spend that money!!! Not a dollar, not a dime, not one red cent. Tell your bank that you suspect the check is a scam. There are things they can do to verify that. (There's no question about it though - *anything* that involves getting a check and wiring part of it to someone else while keeping the rest is *always always always* a scam. It doesn't matter how little or how much it's for nor how real it looks. There's always an exception to the rule, and this is the exception to that, as *there are no exceptions*.) Remember, the money being listed as "available" does *not* mean the check has fully cleared. The bank will give you the money from it based solely on the *assumption* that the check will clear. Then when it doesn't clear later, they'll come after *you* for the money you spent against the check.
August 02, 2017
I have received a email that they are Budweiser advertisement corporation. At the start time, they used vivianXX@ . When I replied the email after they used another email contact me.That email address is brandees2v@ and phone number is 318-302-0834.That guy's name is Brandee Kirk.He didn't speak English. Only speak Spanish. Brandee usually SMS to me and phone to me that push me WHEN I receive the Check. I must tell him ASAP. When I asked my friends and google this "STORY", that is Scam.
FTC Staff
August 02, 2017

In reply to by Jerry

Yes, that sounds like a scam. He wants you to accept a fake check and send him cash ASAP. But later, the bank will learn the check is fake. You will owe a lot of money to the bank. You can read more about this in Spanish, here.

August 15, 2017
What if they said their sending a cashiers check and a vender of theirs to come out and do the wrap and pay me for the first week. Plus how could i do a verification if these people are real. Its funny cause the email i get is fm a different person and my response go to another person. Can someone please tell me is this fake or what.
August 21, 2017

In reply to by Cisco

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?

August 19, 2017
Im suppose to get the check today luckily i checked online.they are texting me from a phone number is there anyway i can turn their number in.
August 22, 2017
I saw an ad in the classifieds in the morning paper for red bull/ rock star car wrap. A Paul Costa emailed me and never called. I don't think this is real. About to delete all of this Bologna
August 23, 2017
I've changed my mind, Paul. After reading this, I think you should too!
August 28, 2017
got the hublot scam. I received emails from a Shana regarding how it works. I did research and realize it was a scam. I kept emailing Shana back and had Fed Ex return check to sender while it was at Fed Ex. Shana emailed me wondering the issue and the check was cancelled and to call a number if I was interested in wrapping my car. A week later the check got sent in my mailbox, now I have to return it again.
August 29, 2017
What if you cash the checks at a check cashing place?
December 20, 2017

In reply to by BigRedGum

They are suppose to be sending md one hell im taking to wAl mart and try! If it cashes I’m holding on to it though for a wk or so encase
April 02, 2018

In reply to by Elh

Dont do it, you could be sitting in that back room for fraud.
September 07, 2017
Why dont they just grab them when they send the mooney back to them?
September 14, 2017
Hello, got a text today saying Casio Wrist Watch is offering $500 a month to put sticker on my car?? Sent link with message. I am very suspicious of this! Scam??
September 15, 2017
I answered an ad regarding $400 a week advertising xl energy he said they will come to my house and wrap it and I drive around until I'm ready to have it taken off has anybody heard about this one yet
T Pick
May 21, 2019

In reply to by Rki

I got a email from sting energy, saying they will send me 600 and extra money for a person to come out to wrap my car. I gave them information on the make and model of my car. And they text me back wanting to know if my bank will except mobile deposit. Or they will mail it in 3 days. I am to take out 600 and the rest will go to the installer. Name is Mike Anderson for sting energy drink. Is this a scame. They have been trying to still my information for the last 2 weeks with loans and jobs. Everytime I block a call they would call me from another number. What should I do.
September 18, 2017
Red Bull Wrap Scam! Here is how has gone so far! Word for work all text is copied directly from their email or text! E mail: RED BULL ADVERT PROGRAM Saturday Sep 16, 2017, 11:31 AM Email From: RED BULL hannah.wentworth111 To: Me Congratulations. You qualified for the Red Bull Energy Drink® Survey brand car wrap advert program. A technician has been assigned to you; they will contact you through email or phone to schedule date/time to come and fix the Red Bull Vinyl decals on your car and also sign agreement to remove it when due.  Note that the wrapping of the car will be done at your residence and does not take long and you could be present while the wrap is done. Your first weekly payment and funds for the cost of installing the decal will be issued out next week. As soon as you receive the check, You will cash the check for the decal wrapping on your car, deduct $350.00 as your first week payment. The rest of the funds should be transferred to the Graphic artist that will wrap the decal on your vehicle. In view of this, please confirm the following details; How long do you intend to carry the advertisement on your car? One(1) month, two(2) months or three(3) months? How often do you use your car everyday? Also reconfirm your name as it should be on the check..You are to be checking your email daily for updates. I............................. ...Confirm to have received this email and understand the content,  Thanks for your anticipated co-operation in order to start advertising for us. Yours Sincerely, Hannah Wentworth Hiring Manager Saturday Sept 15, 2017, 12:42pm Text from 570 901 0224 Hello,This is a message notification that You qualified for the Red bull Survey brand car wrap advert program.We sent a confirmation email to your email account. kindly check your inbox/spam folder for the email and confirm the email.Hiring Manager. E mail: Sep 16, 2017, 3:23 PM From: Me To: RED BULL In view of this, please confirm the following details;  How long do you intend to carry the advertisement on your car?  three(3) months How often do you use your car everyday? YES Also reconfirm your name as it should be on the check..You are to be checking your email daily for updates. I...My Name... Confirm to have received this email and understand the content,  Saturday Sept 15, 2017, 3:45pm My reply to the email & this text: Thank you, I replied, (to email explaining the program and my answers to their questions. They asked: What type of vehicle, it's condition and color) How often do you drive? Every day Duration: 3 months How is the check to be made to: "My Name" Just so I'm clear on the instructions, how much will the check be? I keep 350 of that check and give the rest to the graphs person correct ? If the check is 1000, I keep 350 and them $650? Please clarify! Sep 17, 2017, 5:43 PM Email From: Me To: RED BULL hannah.wentworth111 Your original message said it would be paid all at once. So now it is for weekly payments? Please clarify! Email: 9/18/2017 5:14am --------- Forwarded message ---------- From: "RED BULL"  From: hannah.wentworth111 I will like to bring to your notice that you will receive a check for $2,350 Via USPS(United  States Postal Service) today.The check will be delivered to your mailbox today.Included in the check is your 1st Week Wage Being $350.The rest of the fund is the Payment to cover the decal expenses(i.e To wrap your Car with the Red Bull AD) as Discussed. *Once you have the check in hand, go ahead and make a deposit at your bank,deposit the check and part of the funds will be available immediately(ask your bank how much is available for instant withdrawal),while the rest will be available 24hrs to 48hrs after deposit. *Let me know how much is available at first.So, once the rest of the money is available you will deduct your weekly salary which is $350. *The remaining $2,000 of the funds as to be sent to the decal specialist.You will be updated with the decal specialist information & arrangement can be Made for them to come install the Wrap @ your Place. KINDLY TEXT ME WITH YOUR FULL NAME ON THIS NUMBER TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS EMAIL 218-416-3645  (TEXT ONLY) Yours Sincerely Hannah Wentworth Hiring Manager 5:45am, 9/18/2017 text ph# 724 558 0375 This is a message notification from Red Bull Survey brand car wrap advert program. payment has been mailed to your address and it will be delivered to you today via USPS, instruction to follow has been sent to your email as well.kindly check your inbox/spam folder for the instruction email. Text me on this number with your full name to acknowledge the email 218-416-3645 (TEXT ONLY) .
September 19, 2017
There is a scam for a gatorade car wrap happening. I almost fell for it until they said to deposit this check for $2,000+ using mobile deposit for my portion + the money for the wrap. I'm sure gatorade could pay their own vendors, and not worry about how I deposit my money!
September 21, 2017
I've got the one from the IRS. My red alert went off when the guy had a middle eastern guy told me His name was brad. His real name was probably something like Apu
September 27, 2017
This is happening to me right now. I got a check for 2350.00. Suppose to get 350 a week for three months. The money is sitting in my account, while the bank has put it on hold for 5 days to allow it to clear. The text said this came from David Gibson, Hiring Manager for Monster drink survey car wrap advert program.
January 30, 2018

In reply to by Peaceout

I got a $ 4900 check, said I would get $ 450 per week for 3 months, check the email address
May 03, 2018

In reply to by Peaceout

this is also what's happening to me right now! I just received this check via FED-EX telling me to deposit check and so many of the funds will be available immediately, blah, blah blah. what do I do to make sure it's not legit?
September 27, 2017
This is definetly a scam and today they ALMOST got me. I was nervous about it the whole way through but when they said to do a walmart to walmart transfer. I got a little more nervous but still did it. After I did it I felt like I should look into it a little more just to make sure. I put all the information together with the number, the emails, the address of where the check came from, the address of the receiver. So I called Walmart and tolds them I thought it was a scam and they said that I would have to come back down face to face. When I got there the clerk looked up the number and the money had not been taken YET. So I was like "I need to reverse this IMMEDIATELY" Of course he had to wait on a CSM to turn the key. Finally they were able to get the refund complete. I got ALL the money back. I called my bank and the fraud department at my bank to let them know that I almost got scammed but I have the money and will deposit it as soon as I was off work. Im an over thinker anyways and this time it really paid off!!! The money made it back to my account and it is now pending closed upon receiving the check. There will be no fees assessed to my account and it doesn't harm me in anyway because I have 4 accounts. If your an online person looking to make money ALWAYS take the gamble on an account u never use, one that is not linked to other accounts or have your pay check deposited to or has bills that come out. Be safe out there...make sure you cover your tracks this could have been terrible for me if I didnt look back into it and stop the transaction I would owed my bank 1,954. THANK YOU JESUS for looking out for me today!!!
September 29, 2017
I'm in MT and currently in contact with someone claiming to be Carl Anderson from Miller Lite, offering $400 per week for 6 weeks to have a Miller Lite decal on my vehicle. I'm guessing from this forum that I should give up on any hope of this being legit? I didn't see anyone mentioning Miller Lite, but the circumstances appear to be the same :( So just to be clear, no chance in hell this is a legitimate opportunity? That money would be sooo helpful right now. :(
September 30, 2017
I just received one of these "offers", and because it was "too good to be true" I decided to Google it and wound up here. I filled out their application which is just a basic web site, go the check in the mail, never replied to their texts/emails, and the guy had the nerve to threaten me by saying his uncle works for the FBI and they will pursue action. I was hoping there was a way to scam the scammer. But I'll be turning this over to the FTC and hope they get caught someday.
St.Jude sticker scam
October 11, 2017
Basically if the check is for $1950 your getting ripped. When are police going to bust Western Union. Haha not in Nigeria
Charger 06
October 19, 2017
Thank you for these posts! I recently received a cashiers check for 2900 for a wrap of rock star energy drink. I was about to run the check!