WASHINGTON — QUESTION:
Are car wrap offers legit?
The Verify inbox has been flooded with viewer questions about car wrap offers promising easy money if you let someone shrink wrap your car with an ad.
On its website, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explains how typical car wrap scams work: You're told to deposit a check and keep some for yourself, then send the rest to a specialist who will do the work on your car. The specialist never shows, the fake check bounces and they make off with your money.
"Anytime somebody sends you a check, and then wants you to just send a chunk of that to somebody else, that's a big red flag," Kelsey Coleman, the Director of Communications for the Better Business Bureau in D.C., said. "You've actually just sent your money to these scammers and it's very hard to get your money back.”
The BBB warns you should never wire money or send prepaid debit cards or gift cards to someone you do not know.
“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Coleman said.
The BBB offers the following tips for those contacted about vehicle wrap offers:
- Understand that offers that include a "fake" check to advertise for a company by wrapping your vehicle with their ad are a scam. The check you receive may be counterfeit.
- Avoid sending money to someone you have not met face-to-face. Do not use a wire transfer, prepaid debit card or gift card to complete a transaction with a stranger.
- Beware of unsolicited emails, phone calls, texts or postal letters. These are usually scams.
- Don’t believe everything you see or hear. Scammers can fake caller ID numbers to make it seem like they are someone else. They also mimic official seals and other deals. Just because something looks official, it doesn’t mean that it is. Make sure to check other resources like BBB and your state’s attorney general’s office.
So we can Verify, yes offers to wrap your car in an ad and make money are a scam and should be avoided.