Yes, car scams are a huge problem in Colorado Springs and across the USA. Just when we think we have a handle on them, new ones arise. We discussed last year Craigslist scams which are costing Americans almost a billion dollars a year, and now we have uncovered two more that really focus on those neighbors of ours who need immediate income or are looking for ways to have their car fixed for cheap. Just remember there is no reputable mechanic that works for cheap and certainly be wary of anyone offering you get rich options with your car as we all know getting rich OR just paying the bills requires hard work, time and dedication. Here are more details on these new scams. And if you hear of any new ones yourself, please call us at Perkins Motors or the local BBB so together, we can spread the word.
The WRAP is a car advertisement scam. This happens when a company claims an applicant (YOU) can make hundreds of dollars per week by wrapping your vehicle in an advertisement for any fast food restaurant or other product. The advertisements can be found; you guessed it, on Craigslist.
The applicant (YOU) is told to provide payment before the ad can be placed on the vehicle (for production fees as example). In truth, it's a scam according to experts. Regardless of the pitch, if you're asked to send money as part of a job you found online, be very careful. Con artists are good at what they do, and some pretend to work for legitimate companies in order to make their scams seem real (they even create websites that look JUST like the brand they claim you will represent with the car-wrapping). Before providing any money or personal information, conduct your own independent research such as: (can they introduce you to others who have done it, can you visit them at their offices and can you call the fast food restaurant directly to learn about the promotion). If you suspect a scam, Perkins Motors asks you contact The Colorado Attorney General’s office and file a complaint here: http://www.stopfraudcolorado.gov/about-us/file-fraud-report. Scammers know there are many neighbors looking for jobs – and many are desperate as they face eviction or can’t pay for food – they are willing to take your money by leveraging your fears around money. This is a despicable act, but it happens. Be careful.
Also, as we discussed in a previous article about our repair shop that is trusted by hundreds of customers, we want to warn you about a growing trend of repair scams primarily hitting the aging population. You may want to pass this information on to your family and friends: Police across Colorado and the country are warning about unlicensed contractors who appear to be soliciting our elderly citizens to hire them for various residential projects such as power washing and painting homes and roofs, paving driveways, and performing auto body and mechanical repairs right from your home. The scam surfaces when the unlicensed contractor offers his or her services to perform the work and asks for full payment, often claiming that material and supplies need to be purchased in advance. The potential victim verbally agrees and often pays the subject, who completes only a portion of the agreed upon work and leaves, claiming that he or she will return later to complete the job – yet they never return.
Scam prevention experts strongly caution the public against agreeing to residential improvements done without first conducting their own research. Consumers should ask for documents of identification from the individuals performing any work and only sign a written contract that specifies conditions of the project, including a deadline. Anyone who may have been victimized in this type of scam is asked to call the police non-emergency line or go to the nearest police station to file a complaint. We are sure the attorney general’s office would like to hear about it too.
Most of all, if someone walks up to your house claiming to fix your car, for a visible issue like a dented bumper or broken windshield, just say NO and call a trusted mechanic like ours here at Perkins Motors. We are insured, have years of experience, and are licensed to help you. Nobody should trust the safety of their car to a stranger walking up to his/her door. They will pitch convenience but at the end of the day – it could become a TRUE inconvenience and loss of money.