Monster Energy Car Wraps

December 16th, 2020

TINA.org reader Wendy L. was excited when someone texted her about an opportunity to make “$800 per week” by advertising Monster Energy. The marketing stunt was strange (but perhaps not out of the realm of possibility for an energy drink company – see Red Bull space jump): wrap her car in a Monster banner, thereby “turning it into a mobile billboard.”

Unfortunately, the offer did not come from Monster Energy, which does not have a car wrap program, a company spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times last year. It came from a fraudster.

Car wraps are a common form of the fake check scam. In fact, there have been over 700 such scams reported to the BBB in just the past five years.

The basic premise of these schemes is that after signing up, participants receive a substantially larger check than initially promised. They are then instructed to pay some other, second company the difference for the needed car wrap materials. After the participant has paid, the first check bounces, leaving the participant with a hole in their bank account.

As the LA Times reported last year, these schemes often find success with people in dire straits who are especially vulnerable, like those with high medical bills to pay. Our reader Wendy alone lost over $100 after the fake check she received bounced, and she’s far from the only victim based on pages of comments to the FTC that go back to 2016. Fraudsters are also saying they’re Marlboro or Purell to trick people into a car wrap scam, according to the FTC.

Monster Energy did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment but the company spokeswoman told the LA Times:

“This is something that’s been going on for a while,” she said, adding that Monster Energy is cooperating with authorities investigating the racket. At this point, however, nobody knows who’s perpetrating it.

Consumers should be wary of any get-rich-quick scheme. In regard to this particular one, the FTC says: If you receive a check and are asked to send money back, it’s a scam.

To read more of TINA.org’s coverage of car-related schemes, click here.

This ad alert was updated 12/29/20.

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