Eye on Scams: Beware of phony car wrap pitches

Eye on Scams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Experts are warning about car wrap scams circulating in our area.

The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana has seen an uptick in calls from consumers regarding an employment opportunity involving wrapping your car with ads. This car wrap scam can leave you worse off financially.

“We do receive an uptick in this type of scam to wrap your vehicle in some type of advertising for a promotion for well-known brands and scammers are utilizing that opportunity to steal your money,”
Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said.

It’s easy to fall for when the victim is eager to make a quick buck, Cristina Miranda, Senior Project Manager with the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Consumer & Business Education said.

Potential victims of this scam receive a Facebook message, email or text message appearing to be from a well-known brand or a company representing the brand.

These scams are usually connected to a popular soft drink, energy drink or cell phone company.

“It sounds like a great opportunity,” explained Babin. “You can put a well-known brand on your vehicle, help them advertise, they’re going to pay you a good amount to do it. They want to send you a check in the mail, have you deposit that check, and then wire a certain amount of it to somebody else to actually come wrap and put the logos on your vehicle. What happens is the check doesn’t clear, and the money that you send elsewhere is gone.”

The company sends you a check and tells you to keep part of it as your share. Then, you are instructed to wire the rest to a company that will wrap your car, but the money disappears.

“It’s really easy money for the scammer who placed the ads because once you deposit a check that they give you, and you wire the money back to the person that they tell you to, you’re going to lose the money,” Miranda said. “If you deposit the check and you keep part of your share, you wire that money– there’s no way to trace it. The check is going to bounce and your bank is going to tell you it was fake.”

The Better Business Bureau has these tips to avoid this car wrap scam and similar employment fake check scams:

  • Beware of deals that sound too good to be true. More than likely, it’s a scam.
  • If someone urges you to send or wire money, it’s probably a scam. Legitimate companies will not ask you to wire money to them.
  • Don’t fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask them to wire money elsewhere.
  • Spelling and grammar count. 
  • If a job looks suspicious, search for it online.

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com. 

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