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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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February 02, 2018
I received a text from Ciroc Vodka. Offering 500 weekly for sticker placement for 12 weeks. Sure....
Don't use your…
July 20, 2020

In reply to by Camiezone

Is this real I received a check today from was a check for 5,900.00 dallors is this a gimmick .
February 02, 2018
Anyone ever heard of uro energy drink? I got a check in the mail Today for $3,000 and im supposed to deposit it in my bank and take out $450. $2,550 is what im supposed to send it to a guy so he can put the wrap on my car. We havent put it in the bank yet because we are scared it could be a scam. Im going to the police station tomorrow to talk to them about this. See if they can help to see if its real or not. Im more sure it is now reading everyones comments. I really needed this opportunity. 2nd time a scam has almost got me. They are on Indeed, Craigslist, Facebook etc. Its like no one can win with everyone trying to pull a scam over people.
Mr. Buchli
February 18, 2018

In reply to by Ugh_Gotme

It's a scam! Do not deposit the check. DO NOT wire any money!
February 08, 2018
Why couldn't you just cash the check at a check cashing store or the bank that the check is from thereby reversing the scam and just pocketing the cash. Just like if someone gives you a personal check, if you don't want to wait for the hold on the check you simply cash the check at the person's bank.
March 01, 2018

In reply to by Hollygood83

Please read the other comments. The bank or check cashing store will still have your info and will sue you for the full amount of the check once it bounces. So, in short, you still lose!
February 16, 2018
Thanks to the input here I did not go too far with this. An e-mail reply came from pmignfun @ zoho. com. It started with a message that my son received that looked like it was affiliated with his university. I answered it, then the conditions changed from it looking legit to being a bit odd. That's when I decided to make a search and found that the old scam is still around. Thank you Everyone!
February 13, 2018
I just got an offer from Gatorade for $500 a week. Hiring managers name is Bruce Johnson. I'll play along for now. Just sent them my info. Wonder if I can get my bank manager to sign off on telling me the check has cleared so I'm not on the hook.
June 15, 2020

In reply to by Envyus

I just got one from Bruce and hes not with Gatorade the one I got from him was for energy drinks definitely a scam
February 23, 2018

Just got this +12603382319 - Casio wrist watch will like to put a small sticker on your CAR OR TRUCK and pay's you $500 weekly, click on this link for details goo. gl/jzf3LU Of course I know better, just skating with FTC and public

January 29, 2020

In reply to by DJ

Received this text the other day: Allow a decal of sticker Mountain Dew Drink on your vehicle and earn $500 weekly, It's a good opportunity to apply Click on site link provide 2NjcG4K
February 16, 2020

In reply to by Comet2020

Did you ever find out if this was real as I received one for diet mountain dew? Please let me know. Thanks!
February 25, 2020

In reply to by Lovel6

Yes this is a scam that has been around for several years. Now there's one about zipfizz hydration drink shrink wrap for $300 a week. But they want to send you a big check you take out your part and then pay to have it done. That is definitely a scam. Because if it was a big company they would pay the vendor to put the shrink wrap on them self.
March 27, 2020

In reply to by Bamagirl

Thanks because I just received a text message from zipfizz myself, but any time I see messages like this I'm pretty sure they're fake but because I'm hard for money right now I went ahead and opened it and it looks exactly like everybody saying make $400 to yourself but we're going to send you a $2,900 check and the rest is going to go to the vendor...... how much to wrap a car? $2,500, I think not
trying to be honest
March 27, 2020

In reply to by Lovel6

i just got a check yesterday from Lays for a wrap in the amount of 3,970.85. carried it to the bank to let them see if its real and believe it or not they stated to me that those checks look as legit as they could possible be, but they have had customers to bring them in other branches but they later were informed that not anything of those checks were Real. Leaving the customers at fault to repay all of the deposited amount. It's true, Do Not Deposit any check in your account. Just report it just like I have.
February 19, 2018
Simply Orange Juice is the plot here in S.C. Be aware!!
October 16, 2019

In reply to by KPal57

I was texted by Just Orange Juice here in Jax Fl. Thanks for the heads up
June 21, 2020

In reply to by rockabil

I just received a wrap job offer from worldlife premium water. I just got done swearing I was an honest man to a guy who was out to mess up my credit, my bank account and my life and wouldn't feel bad infact maybe would do a touchdown dance if I had gone ahead and sent the money. Personally "tar and feather" sounds appropriate... Using the mail for a scam is a felony, for taking more than a grand from someone is a felony, obviously no taxes is a possible felony and doesn't need a gun to commit a crime? Man I want these people prosecuted....
July 14, 2020

In reply to by utahcowboy55

Yeah. I got the same text msg today. With all that's happening in the world today with this COVID-19. I found myself in need of some extra cash. Man O man... I can say I dodged that bullet. Thanks guys for the info!!
July 20, 2020

In reply to by utahcowboy55

They tried to get me world premium spring water sent me a check for $4,800 dollars and said kept $800.00 for the first 2 months, I'm glad I checked into it and seen this ,Thanks.
November 03, 2020

In reply to by Peck320

The same thing happened to me but their english was terrible so it was a giveaway, they claimed they were worldlife water
November 17, 2020

In reply to by Peck320

I just received a check from World life Premium Spring water too! It is for 3,550.00. They said to deposit it in my bank and send them a picture of the deposit slip and they will tell me what to do next. Do I take the check to the police?
May 14, 2020

In reply to by KPal57

Yeah I’m in Albuquerque New Mexico and got one from Simply Orange. Initial response was from one individual with a gmail address and the follow up was from a different person with a gmail address. I always read very closely and upon noticing grammatical errors is what throws up red flags for me. So here I am now checking it out and ty everybody for the heads’s like if it’s a company why would they be utilizing gmail? Or is that not unusual?
wil e d
February 20, 2018
Here's an idea. I noticed the soliciter sent an express envelooe in which he paid almost 7 dollars for. So why not solicid as many friends as we can to express interest in the ads...this causing the fraud to send out checks paying 7 dollars a piece for ddelivery. Let's break them!
February 21, 2018
Ciroc vodka tried this with me this week. The ladies e-mail was so misspelled and gramaticaly incorrect I knew it was a scam.
February 23, 2018
I received a text to put a sticker on my car for $500 a month. I contacted the company & they confirmed it is a scam. What is the world coming to!!!??
January 04, 2020

In reply to by shanntenn

Received a text offering me $500 a month to put a Frito-Lay sticker on my car. I deleted it.
July 18, 2020

In reply to by hula33

I just received the “Frito-Lays” text and there were so many type-os etc that I recognized it as a scam and deleted it without clicking on the link. Please keep your guard up folks...if it sounds too good to be true it is!
August 03, 2020

In reply to by hula33

The text from "Frito-Lays" is begin more generous. I received it today and they're paying $750. I replied to everyone on the text with this webpage; hopefully, that save a few people
February 27, 2018
Well I had a feeling this was too good to be true! I deposited the check this morning and emailed them. Then I thought, why isn't this on letterhead? Thankfully I deposited the check into an account that I don't use so it won't mess witb my household funds. I had figured to just let the funds sit there .. now I know there aren't any ... no loss! Despise scammers ... play with people's lives, hopes and dreams!
July 22, 2019

In reply to by Dumdr

Hello. The check I got is for $2200 on a Chase Bank. It's a cashiers check. My scammer said it's for a Baskin Robbins sticker. I am thinking to open a seperate savings acct. Not touch it for a couple months, see what happens. No harm to me. Chase Bank when I called them said check is legit. Well, we will see.
December 26, 2019

In reply to by WilliamNM

Are you still holding this money or is it real? I got the same thing today.
February 26, 2020

In reply to by WilliamNM

I got ome of those today as well...they asked for my info but I have to wait for a response to see if I'm "chosen" for 400 a week
March 24, 2020

In reply to by WilliamNM

So what happen you still have money did it disappear? Did it bounce?
May 23, 2020

In reply to by SweetHeart1

I received a check for $4450. For me to keep $400 of it and send 3 money orders for $1000.00 to some apt out of state and he is suppose to be installing a wrap on my truck for worldlife Water I went ahead and deposited the check to my account that I don’t use. And waited to see if it go through. So now supposedly the money is there but I’m not sure about sending out what the want me to do. Has anyone gotten an add like this before. I’m afraid if I do send the money out later I’ll have to pay the bank. PLEASE HELP! Was just hoping to make some cash to make ends meet but don’t want to get scammed
February 28, 2018
Contacthe the fraud department at the FBT website. It will bring you great pleasure having the mental picture of them being raided, prosecuted, drained of all funds, and imprisoned. Lol. This is exactly what I am doing, and it is making me grin from ear to ear.
March 05, 2018
Beware of Alpinestar. They are currently doing one for their clothing company. We have been corresponding through email. I asked why would you not pay the vendor directly and this was their response: " Great Question OUr company only allows some who is putting the decal on his/her vehicle to pay them in other to afford a mutual friends with them and also once the program has come to an end they will be able to communtae with each other so that the specialist would be able to come removed the decal from the Vehicle. " That is really how that email just went. Told them prepaid debit card or cash lol.
March 07, 2018
2018 it's still going on here's my exact off from (Sunoco gasoline) Hello, How are you doing today? The envelope that contains the upfront payment for the advert we are putting on your car will deliver to you today Via FedEx and here is the tracking #771708532468. You are to deposit the check today once you receive it then send snapshot copy of the deposit receipt to us so that we can have it across to the financial institution to enable them expedite the release of the funds the next business day to you. After the clearance of the funds, you will deduct ($500.00) which is your upfront payment and forward the balance ($1,350.00) to the graphic artist head office in Texas that will be wrapping the decal on your vehicle via Western union money transfer. As soon as they acknowledged the transfer, a local person (graphic artist) in your zip code will come to your house and install the decal wrap on your car. He will come along with the contract and all other document including preview pictures on how your vehicle will look when installed. Transfer charges/cost ($100.00) to send the funds and it will be deducted from ($1,350.00) after you must have taken your weekly payment of ($500.00). Below is the graphic artist agent details to send the funds to: Name : Lambert Jacob Emmanuel Address : 4714 S Congress Ave City : Dallas State : TX Zip code : 75228 -Why am I sending money to Texas ? The head office of the graphic artist is Texas. In addition, the decal wraps are produced and manufactured in Texas. Cost of sending to Texas is less than sending within the state that is why they prefer all funds directed to their head office (Texas). Thanks. _________ I live in Austin and thats not a Dallas address.
March 12, 2018

In reply to by Lucario15

I got the same email information today .i followed the instructions inside the fedex envelope.however i have not cashed this check because i do not want to open an account if this a scam.ive texted this charles person asking other information and have got no reply..Some people apparently dont have lives
March 12, 2018

I received a text from iredayonio @gmail. com saying they would pay $150.00 a week for 24 weeks to wrap my car. Anyone else get this? Is it a scam?

March 12, 2018
Warning: SUNOCO GASOLINE CAR WRAP This is a scam DO NOT CASH THE CHECK I called the bank listed on the check and gave them the account number and i was told Its a fraudulent check so my advice to whoever gets the fedex envelope from sunoco gasoline Throw it away.Thanks
March 14, 2018
just got a check for $2,850.23 today. Deposited per instruction. Requested me to withdraw $1,000 in 2 weeks and same amount next 2 weeks and pay wrapper artist $850.23 thereafter when the check clears. I smell SCAM.
John Art
March 15, 2018
Thank you for helping people on this. I got a text message from someone offering this opportunity. Thanks again!
March 15, 2018
Scam still going strong. Wife found the advert on a job board I filled out the information using a dead relatives information and a prepaid cell number I got a email saying congratulations you've been entered into a 3 month program 500 a week for baskin robbins first check will cover the wrap and your first week. Couple days later i get a text saying check your email and get back to me i don't respond to either. Then boom in a week total time i get a check for 2500. Who does that what company pays with one email? How dumb do they think I am to even cash this? I'm just waiting for them to contact me again so I can pay with their emotions
July 22, 2019

In reply to by London

Hello London, my scammer said he works for Baskin Robbins. Actually never mentioned what to do with money, just said I would be paid $500 a week to advertise with the Baskin Robbins sticker on my vehicle. Last friday, I get a cashiers check in the mail on Chase bank cashiers check. I called Chase bank and they told me check is real. I know it is a scam, but I am thinking of opening a savings account with the check. Don't touch the account for a couple months. Time enough for the bank to finish investigating check. If it turns out fake or counterfeit, the bank will have it. No harm to me