Car wraps and fake checks.
This year, one of the biggest scams around is the car wrap or car advertising scam. In a nutshell, you receive an email asking you if you’d like to make some money by having your car wrapped in a well-known brand logo (e.g., ROCKSTAR Energy Drink). Once you respond, you are sent a check for several thousand dollars and asked to deposit it. You are also asked to keep some money for yourself and wire the remaining cash to a graphic designer. This designer is then supposed to come and decorate your car.
The only problem with this plan is that the check is fake and bounces after a few days of sitting in your bank account. You are left with bounced check fees and your bank hunting after you for the missing money.
Here’s my personal experience with these car wrap scammers:
The Car Wrap Scam
Wrap advertising is the marketing practice of completely or partially covering (wrapping) a vehicle in an advertisement or livery, thus turning it into a mobile billboard. This can be achieved by simply painting the vehicle surface, but it is becoming more common today to use large vinyl sheets as decals. These can be removed with relative ease, making it much less expensive to change from one advertisement to another. Vehicles with large, flat surfaces, such as buses and light-rail carriages, are fairly easy to work with, though smaller cars with curved surfaces can also be wrapped in this manner. Wrap advertising is available to anybody irrespective of the vehicle you drive.
We are currently seeking to employ individuals in the United States of America. How would you like to make money by simply driving your car or banner wrapped for ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®
How it works?
Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept: ROCKSTAR Energy Drink® seek residents in the United States who are professional drivers to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big advert for “ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®” plastered on your car. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “auto wraps, ”that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which will cover any portion of your car’s exterior surface.
Don’t Have a Car?
If you don’t have a car, you can also participate if you have a bike.
What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy?
Lots of exposure and awareness. The auto wraps tend to be colorful, eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it’s a form of advertising with a captive audience, meaning people who are stuck in traffic can’t avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them. This program will last for 3 months and the minimum you can participate is a month.
What is the Contract Duration?
Once the wrap has been installed, minimum term is 4 weeks and maximum is 12 weeks.
Would the wrap/decal damage the paint of my car?
The decal doesn’t damage the paint of car and will be removed by our representative once the contract expire. We will be responsible for installation and removal of the wrap.
You will be compensated with $300.00 per week which is essentially a “rental”payment for letting our company use the space and no fee is required from you. ROCKSTAR Energy Drink® shall provide experts that would handle the advert placing on your car. You will receive an upfront payment of $300.00 in form of a check via courier service for accepting to carry this advert on your car.
It is very easy and simple no application fees required. Get back with the following details if you are interested in this offer.
Full Street Address(not PO BOX) :
City, State, Zip Code:
Cell Phone Number:
Home Phone Number:
We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive this information.
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®
I provided my contact information, after which I received the following email:
Thank you for your swift response and your willingness to work with us. To this effect, you are advise to check your email regularly to get updates as to know when your upfront payment will arrive at your address.
1) You will receive a Check as a form of payment. As soon as you get the check, you will cash it for the decal wrapping on your car and deduct $300.00 as your up-front payment. The rest of the funds from that same check should be transferred to the Graphic artist that will wrap the decal on your vehicle. All you need is to confirm the acceptance and understanding of this email.
2) You will make a transfer of the remaining funds to the Graphic artist via wire transfer at an outlet in your area, the Info which you will make the transfer to will be emailed to you soon.
3) We’ll like you to confirm Information about your vehicle as below:
i) Type of Car and Color :
ii) Model/Year :
iii) Present Condition and the Mileage:
Note: Please, confirm that you did receive this message so that we can process funds that would be sent to you for the car advert.
All other instructions will be sent out to you asap.
I…………..Confirm to have received this email and understand the content.
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®
The Fake Check Arrives
I confirmed my willingness to work with “ROCKSTAR Energy Drink.” About a week later, I started receiving text messages on my phone from David Christian regarding my upcoming “check”.
Sure enough, when I went home and opened my mailbox, I found a check made out to me in the amount of $2, 350. Woo hoo!
Interestingly, the check was made to look like it was coming from BOP, LLC, a legitimate clothing store business here in Madison, Wisconsin. The envelope, however, had a copy of a USPS Priority Mail 2-Day slip on it in which Rudy Grado, at 27405 Sutherland Drive, Warren, MI, was noted as the sender. I took pictures of both the fake check and the envelope it came in and have provided these pictures below. The pink stickies were affixed by me to hide my home address.
I called BOP, LLC and told them that I had received a check from them for the amount of $2, 350. The business immediately asked me if my check was blue. I said no; it was actually a green color. The store immediately informed me that the check was fake and I should talk with law enforcement.
Meanwhile, I had David Christian texting me at least twice that day and asking me if I’d received my instructions on what to do with the check. I texted “him” back that I had yet to receive any emailed instructions. Naturally, when I later checked my email I found the following message:
Kindly proceed and deposit the check into your bank account and funds will be available for withdrawal 24hrs after it has been deposited. I will be waiting for a confirmation message immediately the check is deposited.