12 OYS: Scammer baiting car owners with flyers in mailbox, says mom

News 12 at 6 o'clock / August 4, 2014

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- It gets her back and forth, but Lena Pinkney will tell you, her car is no beauty.

While she plans to keep it for now, Pinkney said when she came home on Sunday she received an offer from someone wanting to take if off her hands.

"On Sunday? Really? Sunday afternoon? Mail? It does not happen," Pinkney said.

She noticed her mailbox flag was up, and the door was open. Inside she found a copy of a flyer written with a magic marker.

"I'm very interested in buying your vehicle," said Pinkney reading from the flyer.

The author claimed that his mom needed a car to get to and from the hospital if Pinkney was willing to sell her car.

"I thought they might go to the Internet to do something like that instead of going house to house to do that kind of thing," Pinkney said.

She said she knew someone was steering her into a scam and not a very good one, at that.

Here's how the scam would work. You hand over the title and car, and the scammer hands you a fake check or money order. By the time you realize it is fake, they have driven off into the sunset.

We searched the phone number from the flyer online, and found an ad. Instead of asking to buy a car, the same phone number is listed from someone wanting to sell a 2002 Dodge in Augusta. Pinkney called the number.

"It just rang, and then it went to some type of voicemail," Pinkney said.

Where she heard nothing but a beep to leave a message. Pinkney said it saddens her to know that anyone would attempt to scam her.

"It makes me feel awful that someone would try and do this," Pinkney said.

While Pinkney knew better than to buy into this scam, she is hoping no one gets taken.

"There are people out there that might fall for that," Pinkney said.

Most of us have heard about bad checks, and would think a money order is a way to guarantee you are getting paid. Not so. Fake money orders are becoming more common as scammers and counterfeiters get more sophisticated. Your best bet is to deal with a reputable car business, or buy or sell from someone who will meet you in person, preferably at a bank.


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