People are being swindled by a car wrap advertising scam

Looking for easy money? Sometimes, a gig is too good to be true.

If you’re looking for ways to increase your income without having to actually work, know that there a lot of scams out there. The latest is a bogus car-wrapping scheme.

What Is A Car Wrap?

A car wrap is a large, vinyl decal that can be placed on your car. Some entrepreneurs use them to promote their own small businesses. Larger brands also often pay to have promotional materials wrapped onto buses, race cars and other vehicles.

bus advertisement photo

The Latest Car Wrap Scam

Ads on job boards and social media sites are claiming that you can make a couple hundred dollars by wrapping your car to advertise for brands like Monster Energy or Pepsi. If you don’t mind your car being a rolling commercial, it doesn’t sound like a bad way to earn some extra cash.

However, many of these ads are actually scams. What happens is that the fake company will send you a check for several thousand dollars. They will instruct you to deposit the check, keep part of it as your cut and wire the rest to another company that will wrap your car. But the check will bounce, and your bank will tell you it was a fraudulent check.

At this point, the money disappears, and you have to pay your bank back for the fake check.

How To Avoid Falling For This Scam

So how can you spot this bogus scheme? Generally, if you’re asked to deposit a check and then wire the money back, the deal is not legitimate. Consumer.gov warns that money wiring scams are actually quite common, and gives some helpful tips for avoiding them. These includes never wiring money to someone you don’t actually know, and keeping an eye out for deals that just seem too good to be true.

If you’ve already been the victim of this type of situation, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

Can You Ever Make Money Just By Driving Around?

There are some actually legitimate ways to earn money simply by driving, however. Of course, you could opt to be a driver for ride sharing companies like Lyft or Uber. And there are some legitimate companies that do pay you to drive around with advertising on your car. Carvertise is one such company, and they pay their drivers around $100 per month.

Just remember, these companies should never ask for money up-front. If they do, it’s a red flag that it’s a scam.

Most reputable companies will also require you to have car insurance and will have easy-to-find contact information on their websites.

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