Picture a job where you get paid to meander around on public roads in your car all day, and the only start-up expense is purchasing a custom car wrap for your vehicle. It sounds like a sweet deal, but according to the Better Business Bureau, it’s a little too sweet.
Car wrap advertising has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. Custom car wraps reach all demographics, any time of the day, just by driving down a road, and they have one of the lowest cost-per-impression rates of any advertising technique in use.
It doesn’t just appeal to companies who want to get their name out there; it appeals to people looking to make some money on the side as well. But while there are legitimate companies looking to hire drivers for vinyl-wrapped ad cars, there are also plenty of scam artists looking to take advantage of a booming industry.
Better Business Bureau spokesperson Denise Groene spoke to KAKE News about the rise in car wrap advertising scams. According to Groene, the scams usually come in the form of solicitation emails, which ask the recipient to wrap their car in vinyl to advertise a business. In return, the solicitors promise to pay the recipient to drive around acting as a mobile billboard.
Scam emails received by KAKE reporter Monica Castro claimed to be from JetBlue Airlines and Monster Energy. Each email promised to mail a check with an upfront payment of $400 for drivers who sign on.
According to the Better Business Bureau, this is usually a sure sign of a scam. Usually the checks are fraudulent and the victim is left owing money to the bank.
Other signs to look out for are spelling or grammatical errors. Many scammers include errors intentionally, hoping to fool email filters that keep spam from getting to your inbox.
Scammers also tend to have generic email addresses, usually from Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo. Most legitimate businesses send from customized email addresses.
Groene added that most large businesses don’t hire drivers through email blasts.
“For your protection, always check with the BBB or Reviews to ensure that the company that you’re doing business with is legitimate,” says Brandan Krieger, Owner, Alphagraffix & Signs. “Go in for a face-to-face interview because it’s your car and your reputation as well.”