BBB alerts consumers to ‘car wrap’ employment scams
Looking for an easy way to supplement your income? Be careful, as this car wrap scam can leave you worse off financially.
Potential victims of this scam receive a Facebook message, craigslist.com, email or text message that appears to be from a well-known brand or a company representing the brand. These scams usually are connected to popular soft drink, energy drink or cell phone companies such as Monster Energy, Coca Cola, Heineken, Bud Light and 7UP.
Among the calls received by BBB was a query from a Cape Girardeau, Mo., woman. She told BBB she found a listing in a Facebook group about a job where she could be paid to put a popular energy drink’s logo on her vehicle. The woman said she would have been paid $400 a week for a six-month period to have the logo on her vehicle.
"I figured something was up because it seemed too good to be true," she told BBB.
The woman said the company would only communicate with her via text message. The woman said she received a check in the mail for $1,900. She was instructed to keep $400 for her first week’s wages and then send the rest of the money to a person who was to wrap her car with the logo.
The woman did not cash the check. If she had gone through with the plan, she would have lost the $1,500 she would have sent back to the scammers. Scammers usually asked that the money be wired because it is nearly untraceable and impossible to have the money recovered once it is received on the other side.
The "car wrap scam" is a combination of two of the riskiest scams reported to BBB’s Scam Tracker last year – an employment scam and a fake check scam. Employment scams were ranked as the third-riskiest scam in 2017, while fake check scams ranked fifth.
In 2019, so far there has been 9 reports and a total of 41 reports in 2018 to Scam Tracker about "car wrap scams." While the majority of those who have reported the scam did not lose money, there have been some victims.
BBB offers the following tips to avoid this and similar employment fake check scams:
· Beware of deals that sound too good to be true and check with BBB. Consumers should always go with their instincts and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost them dearly in the end.
· 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 him/her wire the money elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers.
· Spelling and grammar count. Many scams originate overseas and emails contain glaring spelling and grammatical errors that are a tell-tale sign of a scam.
· If a job looks suspicious, search for it online. Check the real beverage company's job page to make sure the position is posted there. If it is, apply for the position directly with the company.
“Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana is a private non-profit organization that strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
Please contact Better Business Bureau at bbb.org or (337) 981-3497 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America. Consumers can also sign up for our “Scoop” BBB eNewsletter by visiting bbb.org and clicking on the “Programs & Services” tab.
BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.