Ever see a car or truck go by with a Red Bull logo on it, maybe Coca-Cola or Dr Pepper? They show up at festivals and concerts all summer long.
So imagine getting paid every month just for having an ad like that on your car.
Susan Miller's 17-year-old niece thought it would be a great first job.
"She was looking for work, was freshly graduated, and she went to some online job hunting sites," Miller said.
The recent high school grad entered her information.
Beverage company offers ad gig
So when she received a text from Dr Pepper Snapple Group offering to pay her to wrap her car with ads, the young woman was obviously interested.
A few days later she received a large packet in the mail.
"To my surprise she got a check from PNC bank for $2,500," Miller said.
The instructions told her to deposit the check, then wire half of it to the car wrapping agent, and keep the rest for herself. Then her car would be wrapped with Dr Pepper advertising.
It sounded like easy money: anywhere from $200 to $500 a month just to put a sticker on your car advertising a soft drink.
But Miller immediately felt the whole thing was suspicious.
Thank goodness, she says, that she opened the envelope before her niece did.
"If she had opened this, she probably would have been at the bank and cashed it," Miller said.
And it would have bounced.
Many companies targeted by this scam
Dr Pepper Snapple Group has issued an alert that this job offer is a scam. They are not paying people to put ads on their car (see full statement below).
Red Bull, Rockstar Energy Drink, Casio watches and Nike are likewise not paying people to put their logo on their car.
But people are falling for it because the job offer sounds plausible (we have all seen marketing cars), and the checks appear perfectly legitimate.
"This check does look real," Miller said. "It's from PNC bank. And from what I understand, if you deposit it and spend your money you're responsible to pay it back." The check is not a real PNC check, but rather is a sophisticated forgery.
That would have been a tough life lesson for a young woman just out of high school.
Bottom line: No beverage company will pay someone who is not a company employee to drive a car with their logos on it. If you have an accident or are caught speeding they could be liable.
So avoid these offers, so you don't waste your money.
FULL STATEMENT FROM DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP:
"We do not have a program offering to wrap cars in advertising graphics for any of our brands. Anyone sending these offers does not represent Dr Pepper Snapple Group or any of our brands and is most likely attempting a scam."
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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