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If you have a car, you know how expensive the upkeep can be. Gas, maintenance, parking – the whole lot. So what if a company offered to pay you to drive around – which you were already doing – with their branding wrapped onto your car? It could sound like a good deal.

We’ve heard about some car wrap scams that have targeted college students, a group known to look for ways to make a few extra bucks. The gist of the scam is this: The scammers send emails with messages like “GET PAID TO DRIVE.” They offer to pay you $250-$350 a week if you’ll drive around with your car (or truck or motorcycle) wrapped to advertise a well-known product – or even an event like the 2020 Olympics.

If you bite, they’ll send you a check to deposit into your bank account. Then they’ll tell you to use some of that money so a “specialist” can put the ads on your car. And they’ll tell you to pay by money order, Walmart money services, or by making a cash deposit directly into the “specialist’s” bank account – all ways that are hard to cancel or get your money back.

For a lot of people, it’s only once their money is gone – and no car wrap materializes – that they figure out the “specialist” is really the scammer. And that check they deposited is a fake. Which also means the bank will take back the amount of that fake check…leaving people out even more money. Here’s how that works:

Infographic describing how fake check scams work

Spotted a scam like this? We want to hear about it. Let us know at

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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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August 06, 2020
Just contacted by text 6612635151 and then 7867242792. After email with bad grammar (nibomibo890@ Definitely a scam. Same wording as listed.
Won't Be Fooled
July 19, 2020
Received Text message offering me $500 per week to put Oral-B Sticker on my BIKE, CAR or Truck.Googled Oral -B to inquire if they were having such a promotion and Was sent to this site. When it sounds to good to be true it usually is.
July 21, 2020
I volunteered to have my car rapped with advertisement for the ZIPFIZZ healthy Drink company?..I received a cashiers check for $1,950.35. And I was given plenty of instruction on what steps to take to begin my short stint as an advertising spectacle or at least my car. My initial thoughts were, great, holiday money..non traceable cash. Then I read the instructions carefully and realized I had 8th grade students who could put a sentence together more grammatically sound. I know this is a scam and an attempt to abscond with my money....but how many others will not....what are my steps now.....I have the evidence in hand
July 31, 2020
August 03, 2020
I just received a text message about a car decal advertisement scam to promote Malley’s Chocolate for $400 a week. The scammer is trying to get my personal information and to deposit a bad check.
August 04, 2020
What happens if you cash at an establishment that cashes checks? i.e. Walmart, Winn Dixie, etc.
FTC Staff
August 06, 2020

In reply to by granny

You are responsible for the checks you cash or deposit. If you cash or deposit a fake check, you'll have to repay the bank the value of the check when it eventually bounces. Your bank might charge you a fee for cashing or depositing a bad check, or close your account.

August 07, 2020
So my 18 yr old son got a check in the mail from Erwin real estate and finance Out of Manitowoc for $3650.20 for a mt dew decal wrap. He decided to cash it not realizing it was a scam. Luckily he was smart enough to have the bank make a copy of the check before they cashed the check. He still has the full amount which we will be returning to the bank. The “person” he was in contact with,(781)243-4997, repeatedly asked him to deposit it. When he told the person he cashed it and that he would only pay the technician in person, the person began to get angry and said he would get back with him.
August 14, 2020
Got this today. My husband and two friends received it the other day. It's a scam for sure. Came from (218)-546-3516. Hi there you have been chosen as one of the lucky people we would like to work with. Sweet Treats Ice Cream seeks people from your city who will allow us to plaster our logo on their car/bike or in front of their house/apartment for advert and it's to allow our brand well known in your city and you will be getting 500 dollars per week. To know more about this offer kindly apply within and click this link cutt. ly/ SaI CUAT
August 15, 2020
I just recieved a check today for the Marlboro wrap for 2385dollars thank goodness I didnt have a bank account to deposit the check in .. I uploaded on my brinks prepaid card to scan it to see if it was legit and it quickly decline it and said do not try to resubmit. It has GILBANE BUILDING COMPANY 315 E. ROBINSON ST, 32801PN IT . THE WEBSITE ALSO IS GILBANEBUILDINGCOMPANY.COM
September 04, 2020
As many peep who have reported that his it must be working as these guys are very busy. I got a text with the following: from. SC number, 864-276-2504: Hi, I am Kelvin L Reed with UTZ Quality Foods. This is to inform the general public that UTZ Quality Foods is starting a part time AUTOMOBILE WRAP campaign To help support the general public during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Note that This is a limited offer, and also that there is no sign-up or commitment fee involved. UTZ Quality Foods would like to put a 15 x 12 inches sticker on your CAR/TRUCK selected applicants would be paid 750USD weekly. To apply into this program kindly click here /rebrand. l / APPUT Z984 -FOODWRAP When you click it goes to a “form builder” site here www.1 23formbuilder. For that company there was a “report abuse” link which I filled out. After about an hour the company suspended the form and posted this This form is suspended for breaching 123FormBuilder's T.O.S. The form you visited was used by its owner – a free 123 Form Builder user – in violation of our terms of service. 123 Form Builder has a strict "no abuse" policy. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you by this user. We use human review and automated abuse detection for the forms created by users of our service. We provide user registration details, logs and IP addresses of abusing accounts to the qualified authorities who take legal action against online criminal activity. Violation of our terms of service refers, most often, to phishing attempts. These include the forms created to: collect email addresses for spamming purposes; request account passwords fraudulously; demand sensitive data, like credit card information. If you are the owner of this form and believe you have respected our TOS, please contact us to clarify this issue. If your aim is to abuse our service, don't waste your time. The smallest TOS violation will suspend and ban your account. About 123FormBuilder 123 FormBuilder is an online form and survey builder that allows users to create any type of web form as easy as 1-2-3. To learn more about 123 Form Builder, please visit our home page: . 123 form builder. I noticed that the FTC IS reading and responding to these posts. Why don’t you or law enforcement walk through one of these scamps and catch abs shut down the perps?
August 26, 2020
I just received a cashiers check for $2950.24. Sent from Midland Creek 801 S Ennis St Bryan TX 77803. It is not tied to any major company. How do I dispose of the check/
September 16, 2020
I received something via text supposedly from UTZ as well they sent me to a website. Next thing I know I got a FedEx with a check for $4,973.85. I have got fooled by this type of stuff before where I got a check out of nowhere and neither time did I cash it.
Country gal
September 17, 2020
This has happened to me today by rock star drink advertiseing and the check is being checked by my bank now so what do i do. Its not been touched
September 20, 2020
Someone sent me a check for $1500.00 they told me take out $300.00 for myself then complete a task go to Walmart but $1250.00 in gift cards it's a secert shopper I'm hólding the check
October 09, 2020
My nephew ran into a version of this scam. The outfit wanted him to send them a deposit slip. He happened to know someone who had signed up for the same thing and got hold of the guy. The guy told him that not only did the fake check bounce and he was out the "installation fee", but the "company" reached out and pulled enough money out of the guy's account that he ended up having to declare bankruptcy. My nephew took the fake check to the bank it was supposedly drawn, and the bank confirmed that the check was indeed a fake.
Missouri gal
October 10, 2020
I just received a txt to have my car wrapped and make 500 a week. To advertise Mountain Dew
October 13, 2020
Total scam, beware! 501-517-5936 texted me today about promoting Mountain Dew with decals on my car, making $500 a week, guaranteed! They sent a link to " ". Intrigued, I texted back for more info. "Ray Cooke" from immediately responded from 321-295-8889 with requests for my personal and private info, my bank info, etc. Texted them back with a request to go ahead and send that check. Let's leave the banks out of this. They already seemed to have my name, address and phone number. Still waiting to hear back from the team @ Mountain Dew. It's a shame about Ray!
October 16, 2020
I just received one of those check. I know that it's a scam how do I report this to the authorities.
November 07, 2020
Just got scammed by the wrap scammers wow I feel like such a idiot!
November 07, 2020
Exactly what you said would happen did and they were trying to get me to give them my brothers and friends names so they could scam them as well! What a lesson I learned!
November 12, 2020
What if they send you a cashiers check? How can you verify that it is legit?
November 27, 2020
Just received a text message that Malleys Chocolate will pay me $400 a week to drive around with their decal on my car and asking for my info. I immediately searched it up and found this website.
Call me ishmael
December 02, 2020
Just received one of those mountain dew messages. Here Is a thought. When receiving the check do not touch it with your hands. The check may carry fingerprints. If it came in the mail it has a paper trail. There are people where you came from that would be interested. All things in the universe can be traced to their origins.
December 05, 2020
Bang energy is offering a 500$ month or weekly payment by certified check to put a small decal on your car it is fake!!!!!
December 06, 2020
It's a good thing I found this before I proceeded further into the scam. I unfortunately took a small bite and "applied" for it. Now I know to just get rid of the check and move on.
Tacoma Anne
December 10, 2020
I just received a priority mail damaged envelope with a letter (no return address) stating there will be contact info for a tech for Mountain Dew who will wrap my car. aA check for over $4000 was included. I am to keep $500 for my first week's payment and give the rest to the tech. With no return address, no tel except the one I received the text from, I decided to google this program. It is a scam. Too bad. It would have been handy now. I called the texted numbeer which was not available now: it is 4:30 PT and the number is Seymour, IN, which i sprobalby 2 hrs later, 6:30.
December 14, 2020
I just got a text message from this number +1 (470) 867-7443 “ Hi there!. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we are at the moment running a part time advertisement program (DRIVE AND EARN) contributing our part to help humanity. Could you allow UTZ QUALITY FOODS (GOOD HEALTH SNACKS) put a 15 x 12 inches" sticker on your CAR/TRUCK and get $800 weekly? kindly apply here: tinyurl. com/ yxba4d8a”. I verified first the actual website to see if it is real and didn’t see anything about it so I knew it’s a scam.
December 13, 2020
I almost got caught yesterday but return the money back to my bank. These people need to go to jail
December 13, 2020
I've been emailed by a Jason Brown who claims to be with Starbucks. They are offering $500 per week to have my car wrapped with a Starbucks logo add. Has anyone else been contacted with a similar offer?
December 13, 2020
I've been emailed by a Jason Brown who claims to be with Starbucks. They are offering $500 per week to have my car wrapped with a Starbucks logo add. Has anyone else been contacted with a similar offer?
December 13, 2020
Has anyone been offered $500 a week to have a Starbucks wrap placed on a car ?
December 16, 2020
My car wrap scam was grom cadbury!
February 27, 2021

In reply to by Markiesmom

I just got the Cadbury text for $400 this morning
December 16, 2020
I was texted about the auto wrap scam ad well they sent me a check for 2994.00 and 400 was for me after I deposited it in my account then I was to contact the decal co and pay them the rest . I went to a bank thinking I would open a new account and the lady I talked to told me to do some more research first thank god for her because then I found this site and I've done nothing more . I almost went for it .
January 02, 2021
I received a text yesterday from 1-(404)-225-9826 claiming that they were from UTZ Quality Foods, offering to put a 15 X 12 inch sticker on my car/truck/bike for $750 weekly, I've received similar texts like this before from different companies which I usually just block. I texted back STOP but no reply has been forwarded back to me. I want to know how I can stop these thieves from texting me.
January 05, 2021
I am so grateful for this website. Anyone needing money could harm oneself even more by falling victim to these scams. I was sure this was a scam but wanted to believe that I could earn money simply by advertising with my car. After all, it is to inform the public about the product. I too received a check. The amount was for $4250, the contact number (770) 852-5744 contact name Ivan Marcus. What increased my suspicion is that he could not answer my questions about contracts, & taxes. The big give away was receiving a second check and exact letter as the first. Oh also the check was from 'ELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. Yet my desire wanted to believe the check was real. This site has kept me from becoming a victim.
January 22, 2021

In reply to by HP

Hi I am going through a similar situation with a check on the way that I told them I do not want. If you don’t do anything with the check so they eventually leave you alone?
Mom Radar
February 08, 2021

In reply to by HP

My 15 yr old daughter rec'd a letter from Mr. Ivan for $6,900!! Told to text back 770-852-5744, I decided to call. Of course, the phone is not accepting calls. The letter stated she would receive "car wrap advertisement". I have warned her about scams in the past but she falls for the easy money offer. We will NOT be depositing the check!
January 16, 2021
I knew i knew they tried to get me to bite on it they sent me 2 checks $2600 each then told me I can have $500 a week out of each check my payment for putting the decal wrap on my car. I knew it wasn't good so I didn't cash it
Smart Researcher!
January 17, 2021
Thanks for providing this information. They are still scamming with this because they almost got me. But the keep $400.00 and send the rest to the specialist to "wrap your car" was the give-a-away. I also Google Car Wrapping Scam...
January 22, 2021
I was contacted through my University email about this, and I figured it was legit since it came from them. I signed up and was contacted that the check is out for delivery today, and is really pushy to get it deposited. The contact person was Ortiz from Adweek for a superbowl vehicle wrap. Was supposed to drive at least 100 miles a week, get paid 300 and 50 for gas. Had a feeling this was a scam after they didn't ask for info for I9 or tax related stuff. Good thing I googled...... telephone they texted me from was 240-903-5573
March 03, 2021

In reply to by Beazulbub

I got the same exact email from the same guy. Even the phone number is the same. I thought it was strange they would advertise the next Super Bowl this early.
January 26, 2021
I just got one offering to pay me $400 per week! To put the Cadbury decal on my car. It was a text message. Believe me I knew it was a scam but I decided to search and I came to this site. Sadly I know people who fall for this stuff. I had a guy recently send me a check for $3000. It was supposedly pre-payment for a job we had been talking about. Just for fun, I took it to my bank and my bank said they would not accept it. So again just for fun, I told the guy that my bank wouldn’t accept it. He told me to put it in at the ATM! Then I was supposed to meet with him and turn over $2000 to pay someone else on this supposed job. He wanted me to show him a screenshot of the deposit of the check. Otherwise I would have met with him and brought a few cops along for fun. I don’t know how these people sleep at night.
January 27, 2021
Just got one from Aquafina. Watch out!
January 31, 2021
I thought I was a victim. I didn't know about this scam. I cashed the check then sent the money to the wrap company. However the wrap company just contacted me to schedule the wrap. Does this mean it could be legimate? Is there any reason I should refuse the wrap (assuming they show up)?
February 04, 2021
I fell for the scam but never cashed the check what should I do with the fake check?
February 09, 2021
I got a text message to advertise for Lays from "Thomas Larson" for $750 a week, with a link at the end of it. I wanted to see what their site might be like so I copy and pasted into incognito. The grammer was pretty bad so it was hard to follow. They also kept trying to emphasize that we the applicant wouldn't have to pay anything and would simply be getting paid as if we were their landlord.
February 10, 2021
Scammer texted $850 a week to wrap car with Cricket Wireless wrap. Then emails and promises a check to remove the first $850 and give the rest to the "specialist"that will wrap the car with the advert. The email is not worded properly and is clearly a non-English speaking person writing the email. The name on the text says "maybe Thomas"
Austin C
February 11, 2021
Hey! I had this same issue, they sent me a 4500$ check, and messaged me that they will pay me 500$ a week aswell, the number is 208-254-5229.