This story was first published on December 19, 2013
Emails purporting to be from Rockstar Energy Drink offer to pay recipients a generous weekly fee for displaying an advertising decal on their vehicles.
The emails are not from Rockstar Energy Drink and have no connection to the company. The emails are part of a scam designed to trick recipients into laundering fake or stolen cheques.
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®
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 competent 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.
Full Street Address(not PO BOX) :
Cell Phone Number:
Home Phone Number:
We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive this information.
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®
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.
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®
According to messages purporting to be from drinks company Rockstar Energy Drink, recipients can earn several hundred dollars per week just for placing an advertising sign on their vehicles.
The messages explain that the advertising will consist of vinyl decals that can be “wrapped” around the participant’s car and then easily removed later without damaging the paintwork.
If users respond to the initial job offer email, they will receive a follow-up message providing more information about the proposed “job opening”. The message claims that all participants need do is drive around in their normal fashion with the ad for Rockstar Energy Drink “plastered” on their cars.
If recipients subsequently apply for the “job” by replying with the requested details, they will receive another email that explains how they will be paid for their services. Here is where the scam kicks in.
Participants are told that they will be paid in the form of a cheque. They are instructed to cash the cheque, deduct their $300 weekly fee, and then send the remaining funds to the “graphic artist” supposedly responsible for creating and fitting the advertising decals.
In reality, however, there is no job, no sign, and no graphic artist. The cheques sent to participants will be forged or stolen. And the money wired to the supposed graphic artist will go straight back to the scammers.
In this way, the scammers can turn the proceeds of their criminal activities into untraceable cash. Meanwhile, the money trail may lead investigators directly to the door of the hapless worker.
Rockstar has confirmed that it has no connection to the scam emails via the following note on the company’s contact page:
Rockstar does not offer any type of Car Wrap program. If you see ads for this (on Craig’s List or elsewhere) or receive E-mail solicitations for any compensation for participation in such a program, they are fraudulent. Do not send money or share personal or banking information – this is a scam.
This scam attempt follows the same format as another long-running money laundering scheme that promises fees to people willing to place Red Bull advertisements on their cars.
Other money laundering job scams offer people positions as “payment processing agents”, “personal assistants” or “mystery shoppers“. Again, “workers” are instructed to deduct a percentage from cheques, money orders or bank transfers and then send the remaining funds to specified third parties.
Do not trust any offer of employment that claims that you must process payments through your own bank account, deduct a percentage as your payment and wire the rest as cash to someone else.