Residents of Cary are being warned to be on the lookout for a potential scam involving someone approaching them in a parking lot and offering to fix a dent in their car.
According to a report on the Nextdoor app by Richard P., he was recently approached by a man driving a black SUV at the Harris Teeter parking lot off of High House Rd. The man, who identified himself as “Paul,” offered to fix a dent in Richard’s car for a fair price. After the transaction was over, Richard realized that he had been scammed.
It’s important to note that these scammers are not actually skilled technicians and are simply trying to scam people out of their money. If you agree to have the work done, you’ll likely find that the “repair” is of poor quality and does not fix the dent. You may also be charged more than the agreed-upon price and threatened if you don’t pay up.
The scammer often covers the dent they “repaired” with tape and tells the victim that they need to leave the tape on for 24 hours. This way, the victim does not actually see that the dent is still there until long after the scammer is gone.
The writer of this article was approached by someone as well in the parking lot of Waverly Place near Whole Foods back in April. This means that these scammers have been operating in Cary for quite some time now.
These scams are not new and have been occurring across the country for decades, but many are unaware of them and might be caught off-guard if approached by a stranger in a parking lot.
To protect yourself from this scam, follow these tips:
- Don’t agree to any work on the spot. If someone approaches you in a parking lot and offers to fix a dent in your car, take their information and do some research before agreeing to anything.
- Don’t pay upfront. Avoid paying for the work upfront, as this leaves you with no leverage if the work is not completed to your satisfaction. Often, you won’t even be able to see the outcome of the job because they cover it after they’ve “completed” the job, so it is best to pay for this type of service with a credit card at an established business so that you would be protected if you got ripped off.
- Report the scam. If you’ve fallen victim to this scam or have been approached by someone offering to fix a dent in your car, report it to the Cary Police Department. The name and phone number the scammer provides you will likely be fake, so try to remember a physical description of the potential scammer.
By being vigilant and following these tips, you can protect yourself and your community from this and other similar scams. Be cautious and stay safe.