Earlier this year my daughter was reading what she thought was an interesting bumper sticker and struck up a conversation with the car owner. When he saw me he commented how smart she was and her being a young entrepreneur. He told me he shared with her that he gets paid for having that bumper sticker.
As we continued to talk he suggested I look into as a way for her to make money. I thought about it but never took action for a few reasons. First off, I don't festoon my vehicle with stickers. Secondly, I'm kinda particular about who and what I represent. Third, I just plain ol forgot about it.
It didn't cross my mind again until I saw a flyer in my new bank talking about car wrap scams. While I'm a major supporter of passive income I prefer to get it from financial investments and the like. I do my best to operate as an entrepreneur with purpose and not one who is all about the money. In my last blog post I admitted that I sometimes succumb to wanting to get rich quick. So don't think I'm condemning anyone for their business or financial choices.
Anyway, the way the scam worked is somehow you see a text, social media add or posting somewhere promising quick cash. Once you respond the fake company sends you a payment in the form of a counterfeit check for advertising to get you started. You are then asked to send payment for your wrap. They strongly suggest you deposit it via ATM or mobile banking. This keeps it away from the discerning eye of bank tellers. For whatever reason, the fake company ask you to forward part of the funds from the counterfeit check back to them via money order or prepaid card. When the fake check bounces you're on the hook for paying the money back.
If you started spending the money like a lab rat on amphetamines you're not only out of the money you sent to the fraudulent company, but the NSF fees are going to ruin your banking history.
Although this is passive income, it is a step towards entrepreneurship. Especially for that kid with his or her first car. This could help them earn the money to pay for gas, insurance or any other automotive necessities instead of always having their hand out. There are legitimate companies out there that will pay you to wrap your car and advertise. However, they have specific guidelines and requirements. Here are three I found.
Carvertise, Inc. - Represent brands like Nascar, Buffalo Wild Wings, Penns State and many others. Site shows they have locations in Wilmington, DE, New York City, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Philadelphia, PA and Boston, MA. Pay $100/mo but have additional payment options.
Nickelytics - Represent brands like Re/Max, Exiom and SocialSEO. Pay is up to $500/mo.
Wrapify - Represents brands like Linkedin, Business Insider, Vevo, Fox and many more. Pay up to an estimated $452/mo.
Some may see doing something like this as a side hustle and that's fine. That does not negate the fact that you're operating as an entrepreneur and should respect the hustle for the income that it yields. Use it to step up to your next level of entrepreneurship. Extra money from something like this could allow you the freedom to work on something bigger that's not paying you yet.
Most of all, take care of your due diligence. Make sure companies are reputable and know that any company that ask you to send them money, outside of MLM business, should be throroughly scrutinized and questioned.
Phyllis Williams-Strawder is a Certified Business Coach, published author, and 20+ year veteran entrepreneur. In addition to CKO Creator, she is the hybrid publisher for Espresso Mischief, the creator of Spresso Mischief Designs, and co-host of the Chasing Dollars Making Sense podcast.
Phyllis' published works include That Damn Girl Stuff: A Mother's Truth and Far From the Tree. Some of the books she published for others are, SPICE: The Variety of Life, written by her husband, Morgan Mischief, written by her daughter, Song of Solo, written by Cybill Aros-Pearson, and Book of John, written by John Pye.
Phyllis has a degree in business with an emphasis in personal finance. She is an alum of Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Executive Program as well as the Leadership Long Beach Institute. She is a former member of the Long Beach City College Culinary Advisory Board and a certified bbq judge.