One way to make extra money without a lot of effort is by wrapping you car with an advertisement. Companies will pay you a monthly fee to drive around with a branded wrap on your vehicle. It’s a great option for generating extra income — as long as it’s not a car wrap scam.
If you see an advertisement promising “quick cash” or “easy money” by wrapping your car, you might want to proceed with caution. Some of these “companies” may even reach out to you via social media or through email, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Looking for quick money? Don’t fall for this car wrap scam
Our own Consumer Action Center has received multiple calls over the last few weeks regarding this scam.
A warning from the FTC spells out how unsuspecting people could be targeted by a car wrap scam.
“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,” the FTC says. “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.”
You may be thinking you’ve scored some quick cash, but this has all the makings of a money wiring scam.
Some time after that, the check is going to bounce and your financial institution is going to implement its fraud protocol.
“The money you kept as ‘your share’ disappears, and the money you wired is long gone — no getting it back,” the FTC says.
Not only is your car not getting wrapped, but you’ll be on the hook for reimbursing the bank for losses associated with the bogus check.
Car wrap scams: How not to get taken
The key to these types of scams is to be aware of illegal payment schemes. Don’t want to get taken by a car wrap scam? Here are tips to remember:
- Payment red flag: Never trust a company (or anybody) that asks you to deposit money into your account then wire money from it. That’s a classic money wiring scam.
- Who are you paying? Never send money to someone you don’t know or haven’t met face to face. Be especially wary if they tell you to use a gift card or wire transfer. See more on gift card scams.
- File a complaint: If you suspect a car wrap scam, file a complaint to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, and select Scams and Rip-offs, then Counterfeit Checks.
Again, wrapping your car is a viable way to bring in some extra cash — as long as you’ve done your homework and everything’s on the up and up. One member of Team Clark did just that by using the car-wrapping company Wrapify. Here’s how it went.