Don't Get Wrapped Up in Car Wrapping Scam

  
     
May 21, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Ca., May 21, 2013 – Better Business Bureau urges those seeking summer employment to research potential employers thoroughly after a 24-year-old Stockton man lost more than $1,500 to a car wrapping job scam.

The young job seeker found an advertisement on a classified ad website offering $300 a week to drive a car wrapped in advertisements for an undisclosed brand. After emailing the company to inquire about the job, the man received a $1,600 check from the company to start the job.

“The bank cashed the check and I thought there were no problems,” said the man. “I was then told to wire $1,450 to someone to decorate my car and use another $150 of the check to pay for fees.” 

After the man wired the money, he received an email stating there were issues with the previous car wrapping expert. He was then urged to wire $250 to a new car wrapping expert. At that point, the man became suspicious and contacted BBB to check out the company. It was then that he learned he had succumbed to a job scam. 

“No matter what job offer you encounter, do not wire money for a job,” said Gary Almond, president of BBB Serving Northeast California. “Red flags should always rise when asked to pay money or wire money for a job.”

The man’s bank contacted him a week after cashing the check to notify him the check did not clear, which left him owing the bank back the more than $1,500 he spent attempting to obtain this scam job.  

In some cases, checks sent by the scammers may be real. In these cases, the consumer may become involved in a money mule operation in which they are used to transfer illegal funds. Even if someone unknowingly participates in a money mule operation, legal ramifications can exist. 

BBB offers the following tips for consumers interested in vehicle wrapping opportunities:

Be wary of wiring money. Remember that once money has been wired or transferred using a reloadable money card, it is difficult to retrieve. Never wire money to get a job. 

Research the company. Before cashing a check from a company or disclosing personal information, get basic information from the company. Where is it headquartered? Who owns the business? Are there any complaints online? 

Check out the company. Look for the company at BBB.org and do a quick online search to verify company information.

If it is too good to be true, it probably is. If something sounds suspicious, take the time to investigate.

For more information on scams or to report a scam, visit necal.bbb.org or call 916-443-6843. 

For more information on money transfer services, visit the FTC's website at ftc.gov

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As a business-supported nonprofit organization, Better Business Bureau's mission is to promote a trustworthy marketplace. BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior, helps consumer identify reliable businesses through BBB Business Reviews, sets standards for truthful advertising, evaluates and provides reviews of charities, educates consumers, and offers dispute resolution services. More than 87 million consumers rely on BBB for Business Reviews, consumer tips and scam alerts. To learn more, please visit www.necal.bbb.org