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Common Car Scams


Staff member

1. Someone offers to pump the gas for you, they ask you for money, you drive off, they don't pay the fee on the pump and pocket the money. The gas station sends you the final bill.

2. Scammer attaches their own card reader to the gas station pump over the original card reader. You pull up and insert your card in, they skim your card details and start making purchases online with it.

3. Scammer leaves money (probably fake money) on the windshield of a parked car, passenger side. You come back to the car, unlock the door, possibly get in and turn the car on, you then notice the money. You go to get it and either the scammer quickly jumps in to steal your car or they try to steal stuff IN your car. (Not a super reliable scam I would think.)

4. Scammer lets the air out of the tire of a parked car. You come back to your car. They claim to be a good samaritan and offer to pump your tire up for a convenient fee or take the tire to a gas station for you.

5. Scammer will scratch a parked car and use paint that is the color of their own car to make it look more convincing. They will then accuse you of scratching their car and demand money from you. (Call the police if this happens. Take pictures of them and their car.)

6. Scammer will pour engine oil or coolant on the ground. They'll then tell you when you get back that, "Oh, you're leaking fluids!" and they'll offer to fix it (for a convenient fee). Start the car up and drive it a little bit away to see if it's actually leaking, and regardless, don't trust random people in the parking lot.

7. You'll be at an intersection. Scammer has the right of way, but they don't take it and wave you on. You then drive forward and then they'll deliberately crash into you. Scammer will claim soft-tissue damage to the insurance company. This is much more an insurance scam than a personal scam though.

8. Known as bird-dogging. You get in a wreck. The tow-truck guy comes and says he'll tow your wreck to a mechanic/body shape he knows. Tow truck guy gets a big bonus from the shop. The shop will do very sloppy work and/or overcharge you majorly. Instead, have it towed to your house if you don't know a reputable mechanic/body shop. The tow-truck company has to do it by law.