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  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 8, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , rental car, , ,   

    Used car scammers are selling rental cars 

    Used car scammers are selling rental cars

    By Greg Collier

    A woman from Houston, Texas, was shocked when two men showed up in her driveway looking for the car she had just bought. She had just purchased a 2019 Toyota Camry for $11,000 through a Craigslist seller. A little below Blue Book value, but not an unreasonable price. She even did a car history check, where nothing unusual turned up. Yet, there were the two men saying the car was theirs.

    The two men had rented the car and tracked it using an Apple AirTag. Now, that may sound like a scam itself, but according to police, their claim was legitimate. This left the woman confused because she had the car’s title. Unfortunately, the title turned out to be a fake.

    The car was returned to its owner, leaving the victim out of her $11,000. A man was arrested for selling her the car and producing a fake title.

    Houston police said you can tell a title is fake by holding it up to the light, if you don’t see the state seals, the title is fraudulent. They also suggested taking the title to a local police department and having them check if the title is valid.

    Buying a used car from a private seller should be treated just like any other purchase. If you don’t want to be ripped off or robbed, the best place to complete the transaction is at your local police department. This will dissuade a lot of scammers and thieves from pulling their scam on you.

  • Geebo 8:01 am on June 14, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , rental car, ,   

    Don’t pay for a rental car with Zelle 

    Don't pay for a rental car with Zelle

    By Greg Collier

    With many people planning vacations for the warmer weather, there are a number of scams to look out for. We recently highlighted some of them here. Another scam vacationers may want to be aware of involves rental cars.

    When looking to rent a vehicle, make sure you’re speaking to an actual rental car agency. If you do a web search for a phone number to a rental car agency, you may not be given the results you’re actually looking for. Scammers can and have paid web search companies to have their listings show higher than the actual rental agencies in some search results.

    The listing and possibly the website itself will appear like it belongs to one of the brand name agencies like Budget or Enterprise to name a few. However, when you call the number in the listing, you’ll actually be directed to a scam call center.

    This recently happened to an elderly woman from Texas. Her son came to visit, and she decided to rent a car. She thought she was talking to Budget, but was actually talking to scammers. They gave her a great price, but then the scammers asked for a $400 security deposit to be paid through Zelle. Unfortunately, the victim sent the $400 to the scammers and no car was ever delivered.

    To steer clear of this scam while renting a car, it is advisable to utilize the customer service hotline provided on the rental agency’s official website. Nearly all agencies offer a location finder tool on their website, which guides you to the closest branch in your area and provides their respective contact number.

    And when paying for your rental, legitimate agencies will never ask for payment through apps like Zelle, Venmo, or Cash App. Neither will they ask for payment in gift cards or cryptocurrency. If they do, they’re trying to scam you.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 22, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Federal Locker, , , rental car, ,   

    Scammers trick victims into sending money to fake ‘federal locker’ 

    Scammers trick victims into sending money to fake 'federal locker'

    By Greg Collier

    There is a government/police impersonation scam that’s been around for a while. Now, scammers have added a new element to the scam to make the scam appear more legitimate.

    In this scam, scammers call their victims posing as a member of law enforcement. Typically, the scammers will say they’re from a federal law enforcement agency like the FBI, the DEA, US Marshals, or Border Patrol. Other than that, the scam usually follows the same script.

    Scammers call their victims and tell them a car rented in their name was found near the Southern Border near Mexico. The car supposedly had drugs and/or guns in it, and now investigators are looking at the victim as a suspect. The victim is threatened with arrest, but the victim can avoid arrest if they just pay a fine then and there. This is when the scammers ask for payment in some kind of untraceable means like gift cards or cryptocurrency.

    In the more current version of the scam, the scammers try to attract more victims with honey rather than vinegar. The scammers will tell the victim that their identity has been stolen, but the ‘agent’ can help the victim protect their money. Victims are instructed to send their remaining money to a ‘federal locker’ where the government will protect the victim’s money.

    Except, federal lockers used to protect a citizen’s money isn’t a real thing. The only federal lockers that exist are the one’s government employees use to store their coats. What the scammers claim is a federal locker is just the scammers’ bank accounts.

    If there were as many abandoned rental cars filled with drugs on the Southern Border as scammers claim, they would probably be stacked ten-high from California to Texas.

    That’s not even mentioning that if law enforcement thought someone was involved in drug trafficking, they wouldn’t be calling the person to warn them. In these matters, law enforcement would be coming to your door.

    If you get one of these calls, hang up. There’s no law that says you can’t hang up on law enforcement. Then call your local police department and tell them what the caller told you. They’ll be able to advise you on it being a scam. However, please keep in mind that no legitimate law enforcement agency will call you and threaten you with arrest or demand money.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , rental car,   

    Rental car scam is the latest attack on consumers 

    Single father taken in craigslist car con

    By Greg Collier

    Due to the pandemic, car rental companies were forced to sell off a lot of their cars just to stay afloat. Now that people are starting to travel again, car rental agencies have drastically raised their prices because of the shortage of inventory. Not surprisingly, scammers have stepped in to take advantage of the shortage. It seems like scammers always have their fingers on the pulse of multiple industries so they can immediately jump on any situation that could benefit them. While this scam may seem new, it’s actually a common scam with a new target base.

    How it works is the scammers are taking out ads on search engines. These ads claim to be from known car rental agencies except they have a different phone number listed than the actual agencies. If someone calls one of these phony numbers the person on the other end of the call promises a great deal for a rental car. The catch is that not only do you have to pay up front, you have to do so using a pre-paid debit card or gift cards. After someone makes the payment they’re told that the payment didn’t go through, and they need to make another payment. Scammers are notorious for trying to get more payments out of their victims if they can con them into sending the first payment.

    If this scam sounds a little familiar that’s because it’s a variation on the customer service scam. This is where scammers take out online ads purporting to be customer service departments for well-known companies. Cash App users have been plagued by this scam for years since Cash App doesn’t actually take customer phone calls.

    As far as avoiding this scam when renting a car, you should always use the customer service number that’s on the agency’s website. Most agencies have a location finding feature on their website that will direct you to the nearest local location along with their phone number.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , rental car, , ,   

    Man loses $28,000 in Craigslist truck scam 

    A man in Lubbock, Texas recently found himself out of close to $29,000 after he bought a truck he found on Craigslist. The transaction had every indication of being a scam, but that’s only if you know what to look for.

    First off, the vehicle was being listed at $6,000 below market value. Scammers often list vehicles at these prices to lure in potential victims. The seller claimed that she was getting rid of the truck because it was owned by her son who passed away. Scammers often use some tale of heartbreak to not only prey on a victim’s emotion, but to also explain why the vehicle is being sold at such a loss.

    The seller was said to have provided the man with legitimate looking documentation that matched up with information he was given. The seller provided a title and other paperwork that appeared to correspond with the vehicle’s VIN. The man was even provided with a CARFAX report that made the vehicle appear as if it was being sold by the legitimate owner. The seller insisted that the man pay in cash.

    When the man went to the DMV to transfer the title, he was told that the truck was stolen and belonged to a rental car company in Houston. The truck had been rented with a stolen credit card and never returned. All the documentation that the man had been provided with were all legitimate looking counterfeits.

    If you’re going to buy a vehicle from an online listing, don’t be taken in by a too good to be true price. Do your research and make sure the car isn’t stolen or being misrepresented in any way. Taking the seller’s word at face value can often lead to a substantial loss of money.

    The best way to protect yourself in a situation like this is to meet the seller at the DMV and have them go with you to transfer the title. If the sale is legitimate, they should have no problem with extending this courtesy to you.

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