While car wraps are a wonderful way to advertise a business, just like with anything else, some people will take advantage of others’ willingness to do something for money – even using their own personal vehicle. This is not a good idea, as scams have come to light and consumers have been bilked out of thousands of dollars.

For example, four years ago, Debi Tully of Chicago Ridge, IL received an email that offered her a job driving her own ad-on-wheels vehicle. The deal was supposedly from a European energy drink company that would soon be supplying American stores. They wanted her to have her car outfitted with designs for their product. “Easy money,” she thought. Not quite.

Tully did receive the check – which totaled nearly $3,000. She was told to cash it, pocket $300, and wire the rest to a graphic design artist to create the wrap.

“I think that might have raised a red flag,” she said. “Why would I be paying their vendor? Why aren’t they paying their vendor directly?”

Luckily, Tully explained the concept to her bank, and the bank officer advised her against cashing the check. In the end, she avoided a major headache and possible overdraft fees, because that check was likely fraudulent.

This is a scheme similar to others that have preyed on consumers over the years. The Federal Trade Commission compares it to the “sweepstakes scam” where consumers win millions of dollars or the “secret shopper” job that sounds too good to be true.

A federal banking law plays an unfortunate role in the scam. The Expedited Funds Availability Act requires banks to make money available to consumers within 48 hours of the deposit. The problem is it usually takes an average of two weeks for the banks to determine the check is no good, and by that time, it’s too late – the damage has been done.

The Federal Trade Commission has received hundreds of complaints from consumers who claim to have been taken by the “car wrap” scam. The FTC won’t go as far as to say all car wrap offers are scams. Consumers who do get paid to wrap their car are the extreme exceptions. It is important to note that legitimate offers never include wiring money to a third party.

Contact Carwraps today for more advice and guidance on genuine car wrap offers and possibilities.