Red Bull ‘advertising wrap’ scam–don’t fall for it!

scam alert 150x150There is an email scam going around, first reported on this blog in January, that fools people into thinking an energy drink company will pay you to drive around with an “advertising wrap” on your car. Don’t fall for it! It’s just another variation on the counterfeit check scam.

A consumer recently contacted Your BBB and forwarded emails sent to her son–who nearly fell for the scam.  The scammers pretended to be with Red Bull in the first email.

DRive and DRIVE Around with RedBuLL ads on your(VEHICLE/CAR) while you make $350 (Dollar) weekly!!!
WRAP your (VEHICLE/CAR) WITH RedBuLL ENERGY DRINK LOGO WHILE you Make $350 per WEEK!!!
Reply asap IF interesteD.
Best Regards,
RedBUll Hiring Manager

On followup emails, they seem to have fused Red Bull with Rockstar–another energy drink company: “HYPE/Rockstar/red REDbull Energy Drink.”

The ad promises income of $350 per week. If you go along with the scam, you’re sent a check upfront and are told to forward part of the money to a graphic designer using a Green Dot Money Pak card and keep the rest as your first payment.

The catch: The check is counterfeit. The bank might let you deposit the check and make a withdrawal, but when the bank finds out it’s fraudulent, you’ll have to repay the bank for the whole amount. The money you sent to the “graphic designer” will be gone forever.

To protect yourself from check scams, BBB offers the following advice:

  • Never wire money. Any job listings or offers that require you to wire money, especially to recipients outside the country, is suspicious. Walk away.
  • Never agree to deposit a check and send a portion to someone else. No matter how legitimate the check may appear to be, no matter what story or reasonable-sounding explanation you are given (“Mystery shopper” is a common scheme), you will get burned. A bank teller might accept the check, but when it turns out to be fake, you will have to reimburse the bank for whatever amount you wired to the scammer.
  • Beware of unexpected offers. If you receive a job offer without filling out an application, meeting with the business or being interviewed, it is probably a scam.
  • Protect your personal information. Don’t give out your bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers to any unsolicited callers, even if they claim that the information is needed to direct deposit your “paychecks” or “winnings.” Before providing any information to a potential employer, do your research and verify the job is legitimate.
  • Don’t trust P.O. boxes. Be suspicious of any employer or company that doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar street address (not a P.O. Box or website only) and telephone number. Call the telephone number listed and ask to speak to someone in the human resources office. While there are hundreds of legitimate online (or “dotcom”) businesses, most job scams work exclusively through email and websites.
  • Never pay upfront. There is no need to pay for “job leads” or “employment listings.” Legitimate employers will advertise their open positions in easily accessible, free ways.
  • Start with trust. Visit www.bbb.org to check out any potential employer, and contact those companies using information you verified on your own. Never rely only on contact information provided through unsolicited emails or phone calls.
  • Know where to turn. Report suspicious job offers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the attorney general’s office.

2 Comments

  1. Brian says:

    I have recently been sent twochecka one for me and one for my girlfriend.Red bull car wrap promising 500 weekly the ch÷cks were both 1670 .i was skepticle but thoufht . lets give it a try.checks came usps priority. They asked i send all but 550 to the specialist wrapper. A few thing drew red flags right away.they came with a return address of an air con ditionining company .inside only a check with no info. The check appeared to be cashiers check. But for that kind of money , the check appeared to have no watermark protection . also the check was fom a car auctioneer in another state other than the return address . another red flag . But i think what really drew the big red flag was when he texted me to deposit and withdraw Imeadiatly all but 550 and send it to a specialist again in another state . why would another state . come to wrap the car.also the rush to send the money right away before the bank coul verify the check. Ding ding ding.so i took it out to a check cashing place who will verify it in seconds.asking them to check it rather than cash it. They did. Fake fake just fake she alsocommented on the no watermark as i did.so it cost me some gas and false hope to get ahead .Why would anyone send out their own money before the check is verified. Or cleared.The guy kept texting he had the tracking number on it so he was able to see was it cashed or not.Not me…they got myname. Bd age residense through text which i felt was nothi g to worry about. But even that is something to be careful about because that along with account numbercould allow a hacker to rob my account. But i didnt give my account # however after telling this guy , I know the checks are fake. He denies it and still asks me to deposit them . I can only assume that because usps is tracking it , That they would most likely have to give the account number to where the check was deposited.pretty up to date on his homework . Let me just say to all of you who deposited those checks. Next time do what i did go to speedy cash tell them that you are pretty sure its not realbut you will cash it if its real. They will run it in seconds if its during buisness hrs so they can call the check writer.the one i gave them spit out bad . i said , i knew it.also they informed me that they would have to keep the check. Big deal …But the sender just kept sayig deposit it..yea F U dude.so this is how to verify ASAP. No loss…Also I have read some of the victoms comments about burning them back by cashing it at walmart. You might as well just make one yourself and cash it its the same crime. Do you think thr check fraud guy has to pay that. Either your stupid or just as bad as the guy who wrote the check.burning others doesnt make it even . grow up !!..To the rest of you speedy cash was the answer no bounced check no lost money. They checked it for free…Be careful out there ….

  2. Donna keiffer says:

    This is concerning a scam about car wrap with Red Bull energy drink I was the one who rec’d an email about the Red Bull I immediately told my daughter who is without work right now that this would be a great way to make money well days went by and she did not hear anything The other day she was out and called me and said mom I recd a check for 1975.00 I told her that it probably was about the Red Bull thing IT WAS. But she does not have a ck acct so she took it to a place where they cash checks but I told her that once she cashes it she is the one who is responsible for all of that money It is a shame that two bit grifters like them can get away with things and will take from hardworking American people one thing they are lower than a snake that crawls on its belly Thank you. For your time. Donna keifffer

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