I’ve Tried That Readers, What Should I Do About This Car Wrap Advertising Scam?

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Car wraps and fake checks.

This year, one of the biggest scams around is the car wrap or car advertising scam. In a nutshell, you receive an email asking you if you’d like to make some money by having your car wrapped in a well-known brand logo (e.g., ROCKSTAR Energy Drink). Once you respond, you are sent a check for several thousand dollars and asked to deposit it. You are also asked to keep some money for yourself and wire the remaining cash to a graphic designer. This designer is then supposed to come and decorate your car.

The only problem with this plan is that the check is fake and bounces after a few days of sitting in your bank account. You are left with bounced check fees and your bank hunting after you for the missing money.

Here’s my personal experience with these car wrap scammers:

The Car Wrap Scam

In mid-September, I received an email from “David Christian” that originated from the address patriciabarrington@hotmail.com. The email simply said the following: Would You Wrap Your Car in an Ad for $300 Weekly? After I answered “yes,” I received the following email back:


Wrap advertising is the marketing practice of completely or partially covering (wrapping) a vehicle in an advertisement or livery, thus turning it into a mobile billboard. This can be achieved by simply painting the vehicle surface, but it is becoming more common today to use large vinyl sheets as decals. These can be removed with relative ease, making it much less expensive to change from one advertisement to another. Vehicles with large, flat surfaces, such as buses and light-rail carriages, are fairly easy to work with, though smaller cars with curved surfaces can also be wrapped in this manner. Wrap advertising is available to anybody irrespective of the vehicle you drive.

We are currently seeking to employ individuals in the United States of America. How would you like to make money by simply driving your car or banner wrapped for ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®

How it works?
Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept: ROCKSTAR Energy Drink® seek residents in the United States who are professional drivers to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big advert for “ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®” plastered on your car. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “auto wraps,”that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which will cover any portion of your car’s exterior surface.

Don’t Have a Car?
If you don’t have a car, you can also participate if you have a bike.

What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy?
Lots of exposure and awareness. The auto wraps tend to be colorful, eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it’s a form of advertising with a captive audience,meaning people who are stuck in traffic can’t avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them. This program will last for 3 months and the minimum you can participate is a month.

What is the Contract Duration?
Once the wrap has been installed, minimum term is 4 weeks and maximum is 12 weeks.

Would the wrap/decal damage the paint of my car?
The decal doesn’t damage the paint of car and will be removed by our representative once the contract expire. We will be responsible for installation and removal of the wrap.

You will be compensated with $300.00 per week which is essentially a “rental”payment for letting our company use the space and no fee is required from you. ROCKSTAR Energy Drink® shall provide experts that would handle the advert placing on your car. You will receive an upfront payment of $300.00 in form of a check via courier service for accepting to carry this advert on your car.

It is very easy and simple no application fees required. Get back with the following details if you are interested in this offer.

Applicant information:
Name :
Full Street Address(not PO BOX) :
APT #:
City,State,Zip Code:
Cell Phone Number:
Home Phone Number:

We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive this information.

Best Regards,
David Christian
Hiring Manager,
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®

I provided my contact information, after which I received the following email:

Thank you for your swift response and your willingness to work with us. To this effect, you are advise to check your email regularly to get updates as to know when your upfront payment will arrive at your address.

1) You will receive a Check as a form of payment. As soon as you get the check, you will cash it for the decal wrapping on your car and deduct $300.00 as your up-front payment. The rest of the funds from that same check should be transferred to the Graphic artist that will wrap the decal on your vehicle. All you need is to confirm the acceptance and understanding of this email.

2) You will make a transfer of the remaining funds to the Graphic artist via wire transfer at an outlet in your area, the Info which you will make the transfer to will be emailed to you soon.

3) We’ll like you to confirm Information about your vehicle as below:

i) Type of Car and Color :

ii) Model/Year :

iii) Present Condition and the Mileage:

Note: Please, confirm that you did receive this message so that we can process funds that would be sent to you for the car advert.

All other instructions will be sent out to you asap.

I…………..Confirm to have received this email and understand the content.

Best Regards,
David Christian
Hiring Manager,
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®

The Fake Check Arrives

I confirmed my willingness to work with “ROCKSTAR Energy Drink.” About a week later, I started receiving text messages on my phone from David Christian regarding my upcoming “check”.

Sure enough, when I went home and opened my mailbox, I found a check made out to me in the amount of $2,350. Woo hoo!

Interestingly, the check was made to look like it was coming from BOP, LLC, a legitimate clothing store business here in Madison, Wisconsin. The envelope, however, had a copy of a USPS Priority Mail 2-Day slip on it in which Rudy Grado, at 27405 Sutherland Drive, Warren, MI 48088-6078, was noted as the sender. I took pictures of both the fake check and the envelope it came in and have provided these pictures below. The pink stickies were affixed by me to hide my home address.

car wrap scam

Car wrap advertising scam

I called BOP, LLC and told them that I had received a check from them for the amount of $2,350. The business immediately asked me if my check was blue. I said no; it was actually a green color. The store immediately informed me that the check was fake and I should talk with law enforcement.

Meanwhile, I had David Christian texting me at least twice that day and asking me if I’d received my instructions on what to do with the check. I texted “him” back that I had yet to receive any emailed instructions. Naturally, when I later checked my email I found the following message:

Hello Halina,

Kindly proceed and deposit the check into your bank account and funds will be available for withdrawal 24hrs after it has been deposited. I will be waiting for a confirmation message immediately the check is deposited.

As soon as the cash is out you are to deduct $300.00 which is your upfront payment and forward the balance ($2,050.00) to the graphic artist that will be wrapping the decal on your vehicle via Money Gram and they will also be responsible for removing the decal when the program is completed. Please visit www.moneygram.com to check agent location close to you and make transfer through them.

Below is the name of the receiver. Please note that the transfer charges should be deducted from the remaining $2,050. You are to get back to me with the transfer details (Reference Number and the exact amount sent).

Below is the Graphic Artist Money Gram details to send the Money to

Receiver’s Information:
Name: Sandra Fagan
City: Jacksonville
State: FL
Zip Code: 32210

Kindly get back with the information below once the transfer has been completed.

Reference Number & Total Amount Sent

FAQ: Why am I sending money to Florida? The head office of the graphic artist is in FL.

As soon as payment is acknowledged by them, a local artist in your area will be sent to your address to install the decal wrap on your car. Let me know as soon as the check is deposited today.

If you require additional information, do not hesitate to email or call me.

Best regards,
David Christian
Hiring Manager.

What do you think I should do?

At this point in time, I’m debating about taking several different courses of action. I could do the following:

1. Contact local law enforcement and tell them that Patricia Barrington, Sandra Fagan and Rudy Grado are writing fake checks in a legitimate Madison business’ name.

2. Contact the FBI about the same issue since it spans several states (i.e., Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Florida).

3. Tell the scammers that I’ve deposited the check and am waiting for it to clear. This puts the car wrap scammers in a holding pattern because checks typically take 1-2 weeks to clear.

4. Tell the scammers that their “employment” check has been forwarded to the IRS for cashing because I owe back taxes and all my earnings must first be garnished (That should put them into a panic!).

5. New development! I might have a second car wrap scam check coming to my house very soon. This one is from George Jennings of NOS Energy Drink. Should I tell the ROCKSTAR scam folks that I’ve instead decided to work with the NOS scam folks- or vice versa?

I’ve Tried That readers, what would you do in this situation?

Update as of October 7, 2013:

First off all, thank you everyone for your feedback! I was feeling a little confrontational this morning, so I decided to first text David Christian and say that I’d deposited the check last Friday at my bank. Within seconds, I received a text message back from him, asking if I’d received my email instructions.

Deciding to not play text tag any longer, I called Mr. David Christian at the phone number (702) 605-0985. A guy with a slight English accent picked up the line and actually identified himself as David Christian. I told him that I’d deposited the check I’d been sent last Friday, but the bank had put a hold on it for some reason. He asked me how long the hold was. I answered that the bank wanted to hold it for two weeks.

David didn’t seem too concerned about the hold and said that I could just wait until the check cleared, then write out my own check to the graphic artist.

I then asked David about the Madison business that had been listed on the check (BOP, LLC). I said I was confused about why this business was being listed on the check. David answered that this business was the sponsor.

I then told David that I had contacted this business and they had no idea what I was talking about. BOP had also told me that the check was the wrong color (their checks have a blue background).

At that point, David and I lost connection. I tried calling him back at least two times. No answer. I wonder what happened. I hope he’s OK…

Update as of October 12, 2013:

This past week, I received the following email from a “George Jennings (george.jennings11@outlook.com)” of NOS Energy drink:

Hello Halina,

Information reaching me this morning has it that you will be receiving the check today. The check of  $2,330.00  has been sent to you via USPS with tracking number (9405501699320009816575) and it will be delivered to you this morning. Kindly proceed and  deposit the check into your bank account and funds will be available for withdrawal 24hrs after it has been deposited.

I will be waiting for a confirmation message immediately the check is deposited. As soon as the cash is out you are to deduct $300.00 which is your upfront payment and forward the balance  ($2,030.00) to the graphic artist that will be wrapping the decal on your car via Money Gram.

They also will be responsible in removing the decal when the program is completed.

Below is the name of the receiver. You are to get back to me with the transfer information (8 digits Money Gram Reference) Number and the exact amount sent). You are to deduct the transfer charges ($180.00) from the $2,030.00 you have with you.

Below is the Graphic Artist Money Gram Details  to send the Money to in Minutes

Name: Constance H Lawson
City: Saint Johnsbury
State: Vermont
Zip code: 05819

Kindly get back with the information below once the transfer has been completed.

Money Gram Reference Number# & Total Amount Sent

FAQ: Why am I sending money to Vermont? The head office the graphic artist is VT, As soon as payment is acknowledge by them, a local artist will come to your house and install the decal wrap on your car. Let me know as soon as the check is deposited.

If you require additional information, do not hesitate to email me or call me.

Best Regards
George Jennings.
Hiring Manager.

And here’s the fake check:

Car wrap scam

I’m seeing at least one common theme between the NOS and ROCKSTAR Energy Drink scammers. First of all, the car wrap “sponsors” are both clothing shops, BOP (of Madison, WI) and Madison et Cie (of Los Angeles, CA). What a clothing shop has to do with an energy drink, I haven’t a clue.

I also think that the NOS scam artists are far more sloppy than the ROCKSTAR Energy Drink scam artists; why would an LA-based shop sponsor a car in Madison? Unless that shop was picked only because it has the name “Madison” in it- did the scammers think I wouldn’t notice the location of this “Madison”-based shop?

Update as of October 15, 2013:

So, apparently, I don’t have to be scammed for $1,850 ($2,030 – $180 for wire transfer charges). I can also be scammed for just…get ready for it…$1,000!

Hello Applicant,

You are receiving this email because you applied for car wrap job. We are please to inform you that your application has been processed. Payment has been sent and delivered which include your 1st week payment and funds for the graphic artist. We will like to have an update from you if you have been able to forward fund to your matched graphic artist head office. If yes, provide the transfer info and If you are yet to receive payment from us, please let us know so we can process your application immediately. We look forward to your swift response.

George Jennings

My reply (including all broken grammar and misspellings): Thank you for email. My bank deposited the check but tell me I will receive back only one thousand dollars from thsi check. I don’t understand why.

George Jennings: Why is that? What did the bank say?

My reply: The bank is saying that the IRS is going to garnish my check as wages. I’m supposed to send them a W-9 from NOS too. Can you send a W-9 for these wages?

George Jennings: All the necessary document will be presented to you before the installation. Kindly proceed to send the $1000 via Western union to Constance to enable us book the installation appointment and the graphic artist will bring the W-9 with him. I will be expecting the Western union details.

Update as of October 18, 2013:

My saga with George Jennings continues:

Me: What about the $200 wire transfer charge?

GJ: The transfer charges should be deducted from the $1000. Kindly try and get this done today so the appointment can be booked.

Me: I sent a check this afternoon to the graphic artist. Thanks!

GJ: To who? You are to make a western union transfer to the details that was sent to you. Not send a check besides no address was provided to you.

Me: To Constance H. Lawson. She lives on Railroad St. in Saint Johnsburg, VT. It was much cheaper for me to just send a check.

GJ: Call it back.

Me: I already sent the check to her, but I can call her phone number and let her know not to cash the check. Or, should I send payment to the following address: PO Box 4125 Saint Johnsbury, VT 05819-4125

At this point, George stopped answering my emails. Too bad…

So, what next?

At this point, one thing is obvious: you aren’t going to make money through wrapping your car. But since you’re here now, reading this page, you are no doubt interested in learning how to supplement your income through one form or another.

We’ve found a way to make some extra money online for free.

Check out a program that I’ve previously reviewed called SwagBucks.

A quick overview: the concept behind SwagBucks is that they’d pay you for using their search page to browse the web. They make money through Google’s sponsored results and then pass some of their earnings to you in the form of SwagBucks. All you have to do is use their search page and every so often, you’ll be awarded SwagBucks which you can redeem for cash or gift cards.

The best part is that the SwagBucks search bar uses Google, so you’ll get the same results you’re used to, but now you have a chance to make some extra money. It takes no extra effort on your part either.

And you can click here and join today (use promo code IVETRIEDTHAT3 when signing up for a surprise cash bonus!) and see for yourself why I rate this program so highly, absolutely for free.

The Bottom Line

You won’t make money wrapping your car, but there are other ways of bringing in some extra cash each month. Click here and create your free SwagBucks account now! Don’t forget to use promo code IVETRIEDTHAT3 to get some extra money deposited into your account.


  1. I replied to a very descriptive ad for a part-time animal care giver. Luckily for me I do not have my address listed on my resume because the next day I received an email almost identical to the one in the blog from Monster Energy drink. I was actually annoyed and replied that “while the position sounded good and I would actually consider doing something like that as long as it did not cause damage to my car his intentionally misleading job posting did not instill confidence in me about his honesty” I never heard back and flagged the ad as spam.

  2. We first wrote this blog article in October 2013. It’s saved tens of thousands of people from sending away millions of dollars to oversea scammers.

    Since the time of publication, I’ve received a number of emails asking if there are legitimate ways to make extra money. We’ve been reviewing programs and their claims here at I’ve Tried That since 2007. Here are the two best programs we’ve found.

    1. If you’re looking to add a few bucks here and there to your monthly income, there’s no better way than through SwagBucks. It’s free to join, easy to earn, and one of the best programs out there. Highly recommended for some spare-time online earnings.

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    Hope this clears some things up!

    Owner of I’ve Tried That

  3. Thank you for posting and your efforts in general. Why didn’t you contact the authorities?

  4. I was just involved in one of these scams. Here’s one of the e-mails and his information
    Your start-up check has been mailed to you via US Postal Service. Amount is $3800 as stated earlier. You should get it between today/tomorrow. Send me an email or text once you get the check, then proceed to your bank to deposit the check.

    Funds will be available for withdrawal within 24/48 hours of depositing the check. As soon as the funds becomes available in your account, kindly withdraw the funds and deduct your start-up fee of $400. The balance is to be sent via Money Gram/Western Union to the decal specialist. They will contact you to schedule an appointment on when to come over to your location to wrap your vehicle as soon as the funds has been received. The Money Gram/Western Union fee is to be deducted from the part being sent to the specialist, so you have your $400.

    You are required to acknowledge the receipt of this email and you understand your task. The Specialist’s Money Gram/Western Union details will be sent to you on receipt of your acknowledgement. I await your response. Thanks

    Steve Walis,
    T&W Advertising Agency
    105 13th St
    Columbus, GA 31901
    (800) 211-9530
    (706) 426-4742
    So instead of going to my bank I went to the bank they supposedly had an account with and spoke with a manager about the check. They took the check and I gave them my E-mails. Hopefully they catch this guy.

    1. I am glad I found out more about this from here.
      It wasn’t easy to google if it was a scam or legit.
      I got this email:
      “We are pleased to confirm your status as our brand representative. A payment package will be mailed out to you in the next business day or two.The payment will include your compensation for the ad run and that of the decal specialist which has to be transferred. Kindly specify the time convenient enough for you to have your car wrapped, do acknowledge you have received this email and and we will be in touch with further updates at the best time possible.
      Many Thanks,
      Dean Anderson
      Hiring Manager,
      Gulf Oil®”
      I got suspicious with “payment package”,
      “has to be transferred”,
      “received this email and and we will be in touch”
      Really looked shady.
      Hopefully this will help someone.

  5. Hey, all we need to do is to get 30,000 people signed up on his monster energy, make him print and mail all of these checks, it cost him about $30 to print and mail them, so if 30,000 people don’t cash those checks, he is out $900,000……

  6. Got some folks supposedly from Sanpellegrino Water sending me emails right now with the same exact script as the original post. I just asked them for a corporate number to call. They sent me 234-228-7934. I’m at work, so I don’t have time to play a few games with them, lol.
    I think I have noticed, anytime you get an unsolicited email and it begins with “Kindly”- it’s a scam!!

  7. I too replied to a bogus email (Jan 23, 2015) offering $300 per week to wrap a vehicle for Red Rain energy drink. The marketing company is very slick as deception is a powerful thing when people need a pay-check. The check was mailed to me from Texas, the bank was listed in Ohio and the telephone number is located in Miami Florida. I called the bank who issued the cashiers check, I was told to “Shred the Check” it is a fake. I called the Attorney General in my state and was given a number for the FTC who took my fraud complaint. Today, (March 6, 2015) I get the same type of email advertizing the same SCAM with Mountain Dew. I sent a Tweet to @MountainDew informing them of the scam involving their brand name.

    Here are a few clues that identify this promotion is B.S.
    1- The email is a free service and not from a company domain (gmail, hotmail etc).
    2- The mailing label is NOT PROFESSIONAL and printed on a piece of paper, not self adhesive like a high volume business would use.
    3- NO CONTRACT was ever sent out before the check was issued as to the terms of your duties and responsibility for accepting money.
    4- Any ligament business would pay the graphics company directly and not demand you (the client) to wire money back to the scammer or company.

    1. I got one the other day and they are telling me they are going to turn me over to the feds and local police because I have not cashed the check, I told them I wasn going to cash and sent it back no response

  8. I got $2750.10 PNC Bank Casher’s Check.
    Company Information:
    David Brodis
    Adsoncars Mobile Advertising Inc
    611 N Julia St
    Jacksonville, FL 32202
    Phone: 813 644-2572
    Email: contact@adsoncars.us

  9. I was looking for a new job and found the ad on Indeed website. This is the letter I received:

    Good day,
    Thanks for your continued interest in our Monster Energy Drink paid-to-drive promotional campaign, and also for providing answers to all our questions. You satisfied our criteria.

    We wish to inform you, that you have been selected to participate in our Monster Energy Drink promotional paid-to-drive campaign. Your participation would commence after the sides and hood of your vehicle has been covered with the removable monster energy decals. You would be paid $300 weekly during the duration of this campaign.

    The monster energy decal-wrap of your vehicle would be handled by a specialist who would visit your location for the installation. As previously stated, installation averages between 10 and 15 minutes. At the end of the campaign, the specialist would be dispatched to your location again, to remove the decals from your vehicle, restoring it to its original state. This is a straightforward process. The decals are adhesive, made of vinyl specifically used for cars.

    They simply peel off without harming the paint of your vehicle.

    To get started, we would send a letter to you and a check to cover your first-week promotional drive campaign and the cost of the decal installation in your location. Subsequent payment checks would be mailed to you at the end of each week during the duration of the campaign.

    Please note; You must have Bank Account. After receiving your first check, you should deposit it into your checking account. When the funds become available, you should deduct your advance pay of $300. The letter would contain instructions on how the balance should be sent to the specialist for the decal installation.

    If you are in agreement with this, please provide your mailing address and a phone number for this purpose.Do kindky send the details as below…..


    Finally, we congratulate you and welcome you aboard our Monster Energy Drink promotional paid-to-drive campaign.
    We look forward to hearing from you Soonest

    I’m so glad I found this website.THANKS!

  10. The company is different but everything else is the same. I found an ad on craigslist for AT&T logo on my truck for $500 a week. I am really glad that I found this website. I guess it is good to be kind of permanently paranoid. Thank you to everybody for this post.

  11. I believe Im getting scammed. Just received the check via usps. I was about to deposit it into my account but looked it up first. It was sent from Tulsa, OK. The banks name is legit & based in Birmingham, AL. I forwarded all the blogs to them and I’m waiting for reassurance (not holding my breath) Im so disappointed

  12. @Sean Simms – If you have already cashed the check – DO NOT send any money to the scammers.

    Leave the money in your account because the bank will “undo” the check eventually.

    You need to be very careful with what you say to anyone – your bank or the police – as many people in the USA will end up getting arrested for cashing fake checks. Seek legal advice and failing that, SAY NOTHING.

    Print off copies of every email you were sent by the scammers. Print off copies of every email you sent them. Collate them in order, in case you need them later.

    Do not reply any further to the scammers. They will try to get you to reply, they will send you threats and say they will report you to the FBI etc – they will not, so just ignore all that. But be aware, they will pass on your email address to their scammer friends, so keep one important point in mind –


    Any email which claims money will be coming to you is 100% going to be a scam.

    If anyone has further questions re what they should do, you can contact me directly via the contact page on my website. I’m sorry, I don’t have any way here to reach those of you who are commenting personally via email, though I would if I could. :)

    1. FYI you can visit my site by clicking on my name. :)

  13. This was very helpful the rockstar scammers almost got me I’m glad I read this it sounded too good to be true now I know it is it’s sad that people do this kind of stuff to good people

  14. Has anyone noticed that in the Monster energy ad they have on CL,, where it says compensation– says no pay. I saw 2 adds and they both said “no pay”. Big red flag.

  15. I just received one…..Mine was signed by Sharon Fortune…..lol good one!

    1. Lori White says:

      I got a check for $1950 from Sharon Fortune. It was drawn on Wells Fargo Bank in ID and came from Textbook Recycling in ID. When I contacted both the bank and company, they confirmed the check was fraudulent, and I tore up the check as they recommended. Now Sharon Fortune is sending threatening emails saying she reported me to the police and FBI. What to do? I have been deleting her emails.

  16. Currently in transaction with a man named Dave Martins (or Dave Matins from his email signature) from Kirene Groupe LCC. wrapping cars for Pressea Juice. Which btw is a juice company in Senegal. Offering $300/wk with the same pattern and cues as what you stated above (2400$ cheque for first payment advance + money for decal artist). I was 99% sure it’s a scam, now after calling the number on his signature (512-649-7536) I’m 99.99998% sure it’s a scam. Thanks for the read!

    1. Just an update – got a check in the mail for almost $5000, from “Credit Valley Hospital” in Missisauga, and a letter repeatedly telling me not to “make use” of the check before contacting the guy. Which is now “Jim” Martin.

  17. Michael – I do not recommend that you bait these scammers, they know all your information because you gave it to them. There are some Nigerian 419 scammers in the USA – they are not all in Nigeria. Please do not put yourself or your family at risk in this manner.

    DO NOT reply to any more of their emails. They will keep sending them to you and they will keep trying to get you to reply, they might even threaten you with the FBI etc. Do not respond. If you do get sick of receiving the emails, simply reply that your bank, the FBI and the Secret Service have told you this is a scam and that you do not want to hear from them anymore.

    When you receive the check you will want to try and contact the company or person whose name is on it and advise them their bank details have been compromised and people are writing fake checks on their account.

    If you don’t want to do that, visit my blog and send me an email with a photo of the check and I will try to contact them.

    That goes for anyone reading this. :)




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