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Here’s What the Car Wrap Scam Looks Like in 2021 (Real Emails, Texts) Skip to Content

Here’s What the Car Wrap Scam Looks Like (Real Emails, Included)

This post may contain affiliate links. You can find the full disclosure here.

Have you thought about car wrap advertising? Let me talk to you first about the car wrap scam, including ACTUAL emails (yes, they tried to get us!).

Let me introduce you to an internet car scam in the hopes that you will not fall for it. I specifically want to go over this one because I have mentioned before that you can make money by having your vehicle wrapped in an advertisement.car with a car wrap advertisement on it with text overlay "how to find legitimate car wrapping companies"

In fact, my husband and I signed ourselves onto a legitimate vehicle wrapping company several years ago in the hopes that they would choose us.

It turned out to be a complete car advertising scam, and I played along until the end so that I could show you what this looks like.

Our Car Wrap Scam Experience

Which is probably why the initial email I received from the scammer did not raise alarms for me:

From: [email protected], 10/24/13: “would you like to earn $300.00 weekly for wrapping your vehicle in an Ad?”

Even though the email looked rather informal, I replied, “yes”, thinking that this was someone working for the vehicle wrap company where I had signed up for.

On 10/25/2013, I received the following reply from Harry Peterson, [email protected] (I realize this is a lot of copying and pasting to read through; however, I believe this will help others who are searching online to determine whether or not the email they have received is a scam; also, I included grammatical and spelling errors from them):

“Wrap advertising is the marketing practice of completely or partially covering (wrapping) a vehicle in an advertisement or livery, thus turning it into a mobile billboard. This can be achieved by simply painting the vehicle surface, but it is becoming more common today to use large vinyl sheets as decals. These can be removed with relative ease, making it much less expensive to change from one advertisement to another. Vehicles with large, flat surfaces, such as buses and light-rail carriages, are fairly easy to work with, though smaller vehicles with curved surfaces can also be wrapped in this manner. Wrap advertising is available to anybody irrespective of the vehicle you drive.

We are currently seeking to employ individuals world wide as we look to expand our market thus, introducing ( Kronik Energy Drink) to every nooks and crannies especially in the USA. How would you like to make money by simply driving your vehicle or banner wrapped for  Kronik Energy Drink®

How it works?
Here's the basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept:  Kronik Energy Drink® seeks people — regular citizens, professional drivers to go about their normal routine as they usually do – ‘which means there are no OBLIGATIONS whatsoever as to how many miles you have to cover' only with a big advert for ” Kronik Energy Drink®” plastered on your vehicle. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “auto wraps,”that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which will cover any portion of your vehicle's exterior surface.

Don't Have a vehicle?
If you don't have a vehicle, you can also participate if you have a bike or scooter.

What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy?
Lots of exposure and awareness. The auto wraps tend to be colorful, eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it's a form of advertising with a captive audience,meaning people who are stuck in traffic can't avoid seeing the wrapped vehicle alongside them. This program will last for 3 months and the minimum you can participate is a month.

What is the Contract Duration?
Once the wrap has been installed, minimum term is 4 weeks and maximum is 12 weeks.

Would the wrap/decal damage the paint of my vehicle?
The decal doesn't damage the paint of the vehicle and will be removed by our representative once the contract expires. We will be responsible for installation and removal of the wrap.

You will be compensated with $300.00 per week which is essentially a “rental”payment for letting our company use the  exterior space(excludes your windows and windscreens) on your vehicle and no fee is required from you.  Kronik Energy Drink® shall provide experts that would handle the advert placing on your vehicle and also the removal. You will receive an upfront payment of $300.00  check via courier service for accepting to carry this advert on your vehicle…

Best Regards,
Harry Petterson
Hiring Manager
Kronik Energy Drink®

Ph:+1 702-605-3372
Fax: +1 702-537-5695”

At this point, I did not pick up on the fact that Harry Peterson had signed his email with two “t’s” in his name. But I did smell a rat. In the email response I received on 10/26/2013, I knew something was wrong for sure:

“1)     The first payment will come as a check in the mail.It will include both the installation and removal fee and also the $300.00 accrued to you. You are to cash the check payment as soon as you receive it for the decal wrapping of your vehicle and also deduct $300.00 accrued to you as your up-front payment. However, the rest of the funds would be paid to the Graphic artist that will install the decal on your vehicle. Method of payment will be related to you as soon as you receive the check payment. Nevertheless, it is paramount for you to confirm the acceptance and understanding of this email. Please note that the graphic artist payment covers the installation and removal of the wrap on your vehicle. The installation and removal will be done at your address and it will only take up to 2-3hrs. Subsequent payment of $300.00 accrued to you will come in the mail every Tuesday of the week.”

I mean, why would I have to pay the graphics person and not them? A quick internet search resulted in finding the following forum where this very scam was unraveled.

Pssst: You'll also want to learn how to identify a craiglist scammer, as car wrap scams occur on that site.

How Car Wrap Advertising Scams Work

Basically, the check I was to receive in the mail (and actually did, to the tune of $2,450) came with instructions to cash it. I was to take out $300 for myself, and then wire the remaining $2,150 to a specific address and person who would then design the vinyl advertising wrap for my car.

Kronik Scam Edited

In fact, that is what Harry asked me to do on 12/5/2013:

“Report has it that the check payment for the decal wrapping of your vehicle will be delivered to your address via USPS today. Kindly confirm via usps.com with the tracking number 9470101699320004911554. kindly proceed to deposit the check into your bank account as soon as you receive it today and funds will be available for withdrawal 24hrs after the check has been deposited. I will be waiting for a confirmation message immediately the check is deposited. As soon as the cash is cleared you are to deduct $300.00 which is accrued to you and forward the balance to the graphic artist that will be wrapping the decal on your vehicle via WESTERN UNION transfer. The same graphic artist will also be responsible for removing the decal when the program is completed.”

The person I was to send it to was Brigido B Bellhouse, Laverne CA, 91750.

Checks take several days to clear a bank, and the scammers frantically attempted to contact me after the check was sent to my house to ensure that I would wire this money. If I had not already known it was a scam, then I would have been out to the tune of $2,150.

When I asked Harry Petterson why I would have to pay the graphics person, he responded:

“Payments are issued to our respective applicants through our corporate sponsor. However the payment covers both the installation fee, removal fee and the weekly $300.00 accrued to you.”

Right.

Clues that Set Off My Gut Instinct

In case you ever find yourself with an email offer that looks too good to be true, check out these clues that set my own gut instinct off:

  • Clue #1: The name changed from Harry Peterson to Harry Petterson at some point in the email transactions.
  • Clue #2: It made no sense that the company was sending money through me to pay the decal wrapping person, instead of them paying the decal wrapping person themselves.
  • Clue #3#: The company did not already have my address and information (which they should have had if they were one of the companies where I registered).
  • Clue #4: The emails were riddled with grammatical mistakes, such as lowercase letters at the beginning of sentences and missed spacing.
  • Clue #5: They did not care that my vehicle was old, dirty, and that I was self-employed (i.e. I hardly drive at all). BIG red flag.
  • Clue #6: My gut did not feel easy about this transaction. Gut instinct should not be discounted!

Oral B Car Wrap Scam – Real Example

I get emails and comments about the oral b scam all the time. You guys are receiving text messages, emails, and sometimes, even checks, from Oral B (or supposedly), and you need to know: is oral b legit (as far as car wraps are concerned)?

No. Oral B does not have a car wrap advertising campaign.

Fortunately, to show you how this particular vehicle wrap scam works, Chad offered to share his text message, email, and experience dealing with the Oral B car wrap scam.

Chad says,

“I received a text message to my phone, which I took a screen shot of. I will attach. It also has a link to follow where you fill out an application, type of vehicle how far you drive etc etc. then a week or so later I got the “acceptance” letter.”

He also asked that I share the following text message and email he received, verbatim, from the scammer.

Oral B Scam Text Message:

text message of email supposedly from oral b saying "wrap your car in an AD for $500 weekly..."

Oral B's Scam Acceptance Letter:

From: Oral-B®
To:
Sent: April 13, 2019 at 2:22 PM
Subject: Car Wrap Acceptance Letter.

Hello,

(ID NUMBER ORB/806/1218)

We will like to Thank you and Congratulate you for signifying your interest to partake in our Survey brand car wrap advert program. Your information as been kept private. This program will last for 3 months, in which the minimum you can participate is 8 weeks (contract renewable at the end of the 8th week).

Per our offer letter, I would like to restate your hiring agreement.

* You will begin your position as our brand representative.

* I understand your starting salary will be $200 per week with performance reviews per month.

* You read & agreed to our part-time scheme.

Are you Able, Willing & Capable of this position in a timely manner ? Kindly REPLY to validate your Interest, As soon as you receive this Mail.

Yours Sincerely,

Tony Gardner

Hiring Manager,

Oral-B®

The Check Chad received from Oral-B:

Kronik Scam Edited

Oral B Scam Text Message

screenshot of oral b text message scam

How to Report Car Wrap Scam Emails and Text Messages

Beforer we get into finding LEGITIMATE car wrap advertising opportunities, I want to give you resources so that you can report car wrap scam emails and auto wrap spam text messages.

How to Report an Auto Wrap Scam:

  • Forward Your Emails to the FTC: Did you receive unsolicited e-mail offers or spam? Forward your messages to the Federal Trade Commission at [email protected].
  • File a Complaint with the FBI: You'll want to file an official complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (ITC3). They'll process them, and may or may not refer the complain to federal, state, local, or even international law enforcement agencies for investigation.
  • Report Phone Scammers: Phone scammers try to offer free grants, lotteries, product samples/trials, ask you to invest your money, and they can come in the form of actual people calling you or robocalls and even text messages. If they ask for your credit card information or social security information, then you're likely dealing with a scam. You'll want to report these by submitting a complaint to the FTC. To protect yourself for the future, place your phone number on the national DoNotCall list. Then, if you receive marketing calls still, you can submit a claim through the DoNotCall.gov site (these are different from scams, though. They might just be people trying to sell you something, which is not a scam).
  • Report to Your State's Consumer Protection Agency: You can search here and find your state's consumer protection agency. They can help!
  • Report Scam Checks Received to US Postal Service: If you receive an actual scam check in the mail, then you'll want to also file a complaint with the U.S. Postal Service.

How Do You Find Legitimate Car Wrap Advertising?

You might be happy (and surprised, at this point) to learn that there ARE some legitimate car wrap advertising opportunities out there.

I mean, there has to be – otherwise, why would we drive by cars wrapped in advertising on the highway?

Typical signs that you’re dealing with a reputable company:

  • You’ve already registered with them, and they’re sending you an offer.
  • You have to tell them your driving history, and it has to be clean.
  • They require you to have car insurance.
  • They don’t ask YOU for any money.
  • They require you to have a decent car (model year, what shape it’s in, paint job is still good, etc.)
  • They are accredited by the BBB (Better Business Bureau)

List of Legitimate Car Wrap Advertising Companies – Get Paid to Wrap Your Car

Vehicle Wrap Company #1: Carvertise
BBB Rating: A
Years in Business: 6 years
Average Customer Review: 4.5 stars
Customer Complaints: there have been 3 customer complaints, each of which were closed (meaning, resolved) within the BBB

This company has placed over 6,000 car advertisements. They have a network of 425,000 drivers nationally, and have paid out $1,500,000 to drivers across the U.S. Also, they're growing their driver base, with a goal to get up to 600,000 drivers in their network.

To qualify, you must drive at least 30 miles/day, have a clean driving record. Also, your car must be a 2008 model or newer, and you will need a factory finish job (advertisers wouldn’t want to put their advertisement on a beater car!).

Payouts are typically $100 – $150/month per campaign with occasional opportunities to earn extra by doing things like parking your car in a specific location ($30/hour), posting photos, and getting your wrapping done quickly.

Here's how their wrapping process works,

We wrap cars in-house with a team of expert detailers. We also work with a network of wrap shops across the U.S. for drivers located outside of Delaware. We work with only the highest quality wrap shops to ensure consistent quality no matter where the driver is. There is no cost to the driver for putting on/taking off the car wrap.”

Wondering how you can tell if someone is scamming you by pretending to BE carvertise?

Here's their answer:

“Carvertise only sends emails from Carvertise.com — never reply to an email or message from anyone claiming to be a Carvertise representative if they are sending emails from yahoo, AOL, Gmail, or any other similar provider). We have a team of dedicated tech support, so you can also call us to speak with a live rep.”

Have you received any email scams lately? Care to share to alert the rest of us?

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 10 years, her money work helping people with how to save money and how to manage money has been featured in Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here.

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Aaron

Sunday 7th of February 2021

I received an email from James Allis "Marketing Manager for MGM Resorts". He said that I would receive a check with my first week's pay plus the fees for the installation. I just made an appointment for the installer to come over to my house on February 14 to put the wrap on my car. I assume that I'm expected to pay the installer in person. I really want to go for this but I just read this article and now I don't know what to do. I made the mistake of freely giving my address before he even asked for it so I'm not sure if they knew it already. Everything seemed legit. They even had me send an email initially to [email protected] to get further info. It would be my idiot luck to fall into a scam. Damn, I don't know how to handle this. Should I get a lawyer now?

Aaron

Monday 8th of February 2021

Update: I emailed James Allis and told him I decided not to do the job. I'm kind of bummed out because I had my hopes up but I know it's better than getting in trouble for check fraud. Thank you for writing this article. If I hadn't read it, I would have been headed for potentially a very disastrous fate.

James

Friday 5th of February 2021

Also got one from Bob Cabrera but it was in a text... I've never seen that last name spelled like that? that was my first clue, maybe that was legit.. and it was (Oral B) 330-977-8822. But what really tipped me off was they're offering $500 a week!!! And like our mother and father and grandpa and grandma always said if it's sounds too good to be true it probably isn't!!!

Alesha

Sunday 31st of January 2021

I got an email from Bob Cabrera. That fake mutherf**ker. I was so excited. Thank you for this article. F*** Bob Cabrera.

Amanda L Grossman

Monday 1st of February 2021

So sorry to hear that you were emailed a vehicle car wrap scam! (Also, had to edit your comments a bit:)). I'm very glad that you found this article and weren't a victim.

Cal

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

I just got this today... so glad I saw your article!

Hi, could you allow KABISA ENERGY DRINK to put a small decal or sticker on your car/truck and get $600 weekly? we want to multiply our customers, KABISA ENERGY DRINK is well known to all Americans but still our marketing department is working hard to enhance more customers through publicity, for more information about the promo hit this link 

https://wp.me/PckIi4-5

THANK YOU

Amanda L Grossman

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Hi Cal - thanks so much for posting about your experience with the Kabisa energy drink vehicle decal scam!

Melissa

Wednesday 4th of November 2020

I received a text from NOS Energy asking if I would allow them to place a vinyl 15 inch by 12 inch decal on my vehicle. the link is https://cutt.ly/9w4ius5 I clicked on the link and filled out the info. I got a text 2 days later from a James Scott Instructor manager for NOS and to confirm my information. Being a detective's wife I asked him if this was a scam- I knew the answer but was curious as to what he would say. I did some investigating and did an IP reversal look up and found this site was in London. But this Scott guy is spoofing local numbers. I looked that up as well. He goes on to tell me that I will receive my first check which was supposed to be a cashier's check. I asked him about that and he said it had a tracking number. He told me he would have to get back with me before the end of the week to give me a tracking number. I lied to him and told him we did not have a bank account and he told me that it was not a problem I could go to a local bank and get an account because that was the only way I would be able to cash the 500.00 weekly payments. His grammar was also a red flag. I texted him and told him I had busted him and his cronies and that everything I had I turned over to local law enforcement and if they sent a "Check" it would also be turned over to the authorities. No response as of yet.

Amanda L Grossman

Saturday 7th of November 2020

Wow - crazy good you listened to your gut and asked lots of questions, Melissa. Thanks so much for sharing your car wrap scam with us so that others can learn, too!