As if you don’t have enough to worry about…
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a car these days, you really have to keep your guard up. Not only are scammers trying to sell stolen cars or buy vehicles using fake certified checks, others have devised unsophisticated yet effective ways to simply drive off with a vehicle while test driving it, like what happened to a 93-year-old Missouri veteran recently.
Learn about the scam that’s ripped off Texas car buyers recently here.
According to a report from Fox News, the veteran’s son and grandson were helping to sell a 2011 Dodge Durango on Facebook Marketplace. They found a potential buyer and arranged to meet in a Target parking lot where there are plenty of cameras. The pair said the teenage car shopper was super courteous, causing them to let their guard down some.
When the kid climbed into the Dodge to take it for a test drive, he locked all the doors before the grandson could climb into the passenger seat. Then he took off, leaving the pair stunned. We know these schemes are old, but they do bring up an interesting conundrum: how do you prevent this sort of thing?
We’ve discussed this very thing among ourselves and don’t have a definitive answer. Going for a test drive with a stranger or a few strangers can be risky. After all, a lot of car thieves carry guns and aren’t afraid to use them. Getting into a vehicle with someone who intends to do you harm is a really bad idea. But if you just hand the keys over to a stranger and let them drive off with your car, you might never see them again. Sure, you can have them present a driver’s license and take a photo of it, but that could be bogus. And if they show up in another vehicle, there’s no telling if it might have been stolen as well.
However, we all agree having a GPS tracker or two installed on your car is a good idea. That will help with tracking down your ride if someone swipes it during a test drive or any other time.
In this case, the 2011 Dodge Durango turned up two weeks after it was stolen. Police pursued the crossover and the driver’s side front tire blew out, but it was recovered. Since the kid driving it is a minor, authorities were trying to figure out how to proceed, despite admitting it looked like he’s working for a professional theft ring. That happens way too often.
In the meantime, the community rallied around the 93-year-old veteran, contributing $7,000 for a GoFundMe campaign, the amount the man was asking for the Durango. The owners of the tow company which had impounded the Dodge were moved by the man’s unfortunate story, offering to put new tires on it and a body shop offered to fix any damage. It’s good to see a community help out someone who’s been put in a tight spot by a criminal act.
Source: Fox News
Image via Facebook