Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gatorade Scam

This morning, I received the following text on my phone, apparently from 703-935-5763:

Cover your vehicle with a gatorade drink logo and get 300 dollars every week. If interested send an email to energylogo@aol.com
I was immediately suspicious of this strange offer, partly because it directed me to send an email to an AOL address instead of to a corporate account (i.e. gatorade.com) and because the "g" in "gatorade" wasn't capitalized.

So, I sent an email requesting more information and received this reply:

Hello,
Thank you for your interest in working with us. All you need do is go about your regular routine, only with an advert for "Gatorade Logo®" 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.

You will receive a Certified Check. As soon as you receive the check, you will cash the check for the decal wrapping on your car, deduct $ 300 as your up-front payment. The rest of the funds would be given to the Graphic artist that will wrap the decal on your car using information we will provide you.

Provide us with the following information. For every week you have the decal on your car, we pay $ 300.

Kindly provide us with the following information:

Your Full Name:
Full Contact Address:
City:
State:
Zip code:
Phone Number:
Age:
Type of Car and Color
Model / Year:
Present Condition and the Mileage:

Best Regards,

Anthony Devin
Hiring Manager
Energy Logo®
First of all, despite the use of the word "energy", Gatorade is not an energy drink (e.g. Monster, Red Bull) but is a sports drink whose primary purpose is to replenish the body with water and electrolytes.

Next, it would be odd if Gatorade had contracted with Energy Logo for an advertising campaign in the first place. Gatorade is part of the PepsiCo corporate family, which has its own advertising departments. PepsiCo already has a huge presence in the media and they're the official sports drink of numerous professional sports leagues. So, I doubt if Energy Logo could do more for the product than already is being done.

Besides, why go through all the trouble of recruiting people to have their vehicles auto wrapped and pay them $300 a week when they could simply post an ad on Facebook or Twitter, where more people will see it? Remember that Gatorade has already been around for a long time and is not some new startup desperately seeking attention.

Also interesting is the fact that Energy Logo doesn't appear in any Google search results for the company name and neither does Anthony Devin as their Hiring Agent.

Being already convinced that the whole thing is a scam, I decided to run an IP trace of the email itself and discovered that the email's likely place of origin was from the area of Bucharest, Romania. This is the second Romania-based scam that I have received. So, I guess they're trying to catch-up with the African scammers.

In Eastern Europe, it's entirely possible for people living there to not realize how famous Gatorade already is. Maybe a campaign like this would do well in Bucharest, but not in the USA.

This looks like some group of scammers trying to get your personal information.

The offer of a certified check may tempt some people, but understand that if the check is discovered to be fake, the person trying to cash it would face possible arrest and could be charged with attempted check fraud.


Duane Browning
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