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Business tips by Jordan Rzad – Don’t fall for the car wrapping con

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LOOKING FOR an easy way to supplement your income? Don’t fall for fake emails that offer to pay you $300 a week for simply wrapping your car with a company logo.
How the Scam Works:
You get an email that appears to be from a well-known drink brand. These latest scams use Monster Energy’s name, but scammers have also impersonated brands such as Coca-Cola and Heineken.
The email claims to be offering you a chance to earn $300 (or more) a week. All you need to do is wrap your car with the Monster Energy logo and use the vehicle for your daily routine. Sounds easy! You reply and are asked to provide contact information and vehicle details. You are also promised an up-front payment.
When you receive your check, it’s for far more than you were promised. Your new “boss” instructs you to deposit it and wire the difference to another person. This third party is allegedly responsible for designing the car wrap. Don’t do it! It’s a scam, and the check is a fake. If you deposit the check and withdraw the money, you will be responsible for the bank’s losses.
How to Spot a Job Scam:
• Don’t fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask him/her to wire the money elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers.
• Some positions are more likely to be scams: Always be wary of work from home, secret shopper positions or any job with a generic title, such as admin assistant or customer service representative. These often don’t require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads.
• If a job looks suspicious, search for it online. If the result comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam. Also, check the real company’s job page to make sure the position is posted there.
• Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her.
• Look for typos and bad grammar: If the offer is really coming from a famous brand like Coca-Cola, their email shouldn’t be riddled with bad writing.
It is also important to not be fooled if the scam company has set up a fake social media page and identity. It is easy to create a scam Facebook page and then fill it with “likes” from people who don’t actually exist or are part of the scam. They will go on and on as to how great the program is and that it is totally legitimate. Again, if the page makes it sound too good to be true….well, you know the rest.
Learn more about car wrapping and other scams on the BBB website at www.bbbhouston.org. To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam).

Jordan Rzad is the senior director responsible for internet marketing at Houston Better Business Bureau.

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