Unwrap This Scam
- Written by Tracy Scott
- Category: Articles
Admit it. You're more likely to wear, buy, and pay more attention to name brand products. We all do. Like most people, you're also more likely to open your wallet to a familiar, trusted brand instead of a newcomer to the market. I mean — have YOU ever heard of Pikee athletic shoes?
Name recognition carries serious weight online and in the real world. And guess who else figured that out? Scammers.
(Social Media Post)
Get Paid to Drive!
Use your car, truck, or bike to earn up to $700 a week.
Help us advertise our well-known product by wrapping your ride.
Text "Drive Now" to 555-555-1234
Fake check scams like this one cost victims an average of $1,988 in 2019.
You might remember seeing vehicles zipping around town wrapped in RedBull® colors, logos, and a larger than life can of the product attached to the roof. You might have wondered, "How can I drive one of those?" or "Do they pay people to drive those?"
According to scammers, you can make a ton of money by letting companies like Marlboro® or Purell® use your vehicle to advertise their products. But those who run this scam aren't affiliated with the real companies.
Here's what happened when someone responded to this social media post.
Trusting Consumer: drive now
Scammer: Hi! Based on your area code we need drivers in your area. There's only one spot left. How soon can you start?
Trusting Consumer: asap
Scammer: We can put you on the schedule for next week. It's for Purell - the hand sanitizer.
Trusting Consumer: k - wus the pay
Scammer: $700 a week. You just have to drive 15 miles a week. We track using your odometer. Just send us photos every Sunday showing how much you've driven each week and that's it.
Trusting Consumer: how do I get started
Scammer: I just need your mailing address. We'll overnight your first check so you don't have to worry about paying the decal agent yourself.
Trusting Consumer: decal agent????
Scammer: Yes. That's the professional who will wrap your car.
Trusting Consumer: k
Scammer: When you get the check, just deposit it into your bank account. It'll be for $1,000. You keep $700 and use the other $300 to pay the decal agent. You have to pay him by electronic wire within 24 hours of receiving the check to hold your slot.
Trusting Consumer: cool
The trusting consumer (aka victim) gave the scammer their mailing address and anxiously awaited the promised first check.
Luckily, Trusting Consumer had a friend reveal that it was a scam before depositing the fake $1,000 check. The friend was familiar with the scam as a relative had fallen for it the previous month.
The Scammer and the "decal agent" work together to steal money from victims. The check would have never cleared. If Trusting Consumer had deposited the check and wired $300 to the "decal agent," they'd be out $300 from their own pocket. And, banks have policies against depositing rubber checks. The Trusting Consumer would also be responsible for the remaining $700.
How to Avoid This Scam
Fake check scams like this one cost victims an average of $1,988 in 2019. Avoid this scam by never accepting a check for more than the transaction amount. We have it on good authority that legitimate car wrapping advertising services typically do not pay hundreds per week for very little work, do not require drivers to pay upfront costs, and pay "decal agents" from their own bank accounts.