The car wrap scam

Car-wrap advertising has been around for some time, unfortunately, so have car-wrap scams. This particular scam plays on the public’s lack of familiarity with the details of how a check clears the system. Under federal law, financial institutions have to make the funds from the checks you deposit available quickly, usually within 1-5 days. But just because funds are available doesn’t mean the check is good. It can take weeks for a forgery to be discovered and the check to bounce.

It works like this

You respond to an ad or message offering easy money if you shrink-wrap your car with ads for major brands. They send you a check to cover the cost of wrapping your car plus your fee. Your instructions are to deposit the check into your personal account, then wire the funds to another company who will wrap the car.

What really happens

Weeks after you wire the money the check bounces. The scammer keeps the money you wired, and you get to repay your financial institution.

The warning signs

Anytime anyone for any reason asks you to deposit a check and wire part or all of it anywhere, it’s a scam. Think about it: A legitimate company will pay the car-wrap company directly. They won’t ask you to handle that.

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