When you’re in between jobs or in need of some supplemental income, it’s hard to say no to the prospect of earning fast, easy money. But honest income generally doesn’t come without putting in some effort, so be cautious of any money-making opportunity that offers a high return for little to no work on your part. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
When Sue, a consumer from Lakewood, Wash., received the below email, she was excited at the idea of making money just by putting a company logo on her car. The email said she would be “paid to drive” $800 a week—more than a lot of people earn with a full-time job—just by wrapping her car with an advertisement.
Subject: Toms Job Position
Date: Tue, 12 May 2015 00:31:04 +0200
We are currently seeking to employ individual’s in the USA.
How would you like to make money by simply driving your car advertising for Hennessy, JOHNNIE WALKER, Pepsi, Coke, Apple Product or TOMS shoes.
How it works
Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive”
Concept: AUTO WRAP seeks people — regular citizens, professional drivers to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with an advert for “AUTO WRAP” plastered on your car. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “AUTO WRAP” that’s almost seem to be painted on the vehicle and which will cover any portion of your car’s exterior surface.
What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure and awareness. The AUTO WRAP tend to be colorful, eye-catching and attract lots of attention when you are stuck in traffic and people can’t avoid seeing the advert on your car alongside them. This program will last for 6 months and the minimum you can participate is 3 months.
We are offering $1,600 every 2 weeks and also an advance payment of $500, the logo will be placed on both doors or the hood of your car if you are interested.
No fee is required from you, “AUTO WRAP” will provide experts who will be responsible for placing and removal of the logo when your contract expires.
Kindly send me the required information’s below.
Please respond only if interested.
When Sue responded to the email, she was asked for her personal information, including full name and address. She was then told a check would be mailed to her for an up-front payment and to cover the car-wrapping costs.
Fortunately at that point, Sue grew suspicious and reached out to BBB for guidance.
While there may be a handful of legitimate companies that pay you a bit of money to stick their logo on your personal vehicle, the unsolicited email Sue received is not how they go about hiring people.
What generally happens in this all-too-common scam is the victim will be sent a check for more money than was promised. He will be instructed to deposit the check in his account, wire a portion of it to someone else, and keep the rest. Little does he know the check is fake, and he becomes responsible for the bank’s losses after he’s wired real money to a fraudster. Scammers ask for money to be wired to them because it’s virtually untraceable, like handing someone a wad of cash.
Here are the warning signs of a car-wrapping scam:
- You’re told all you have to do is sign up, and you’ll be selected. The truth is that the odds are against you. A legitimate company told Bankrate.com they have more than one million drivers in their database—and they’ve hired only 6,000 of them in the last six years.
- You’re offered the job on the spot. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him; they won’t offer a job to someone without going through an interview first.
- The company wants you to send them money. You should never pay up-front fees to receive employment. And no legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask him to wire the money elsewhere.
- The company promises a free car. There is no such thing as a company that will give you a free car.
- There are typos and bad grammar. If a job offer is truly coming from a well known brand such as TOMS or Pepsi, the email or letter won’t be riddled with mistakes and poor writing.