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Beware of car scam in Midland, reader writes

Post by News Tribune Staff on May 6, 2008 at 12:45 pm with 1 Comment »
May 6, 2008 12:45 pm

Got an e-mail about a scam in the Midland area. Read about it below:

My husband was out working in the yard yesterday, when a nice looking, nicely dressed man stopped and said that he noticed our car had some minor bumper damage. So my husband, knowing that I really wanted to get it fixed someday, but just couldn’t afford it, came into the house and asked me to come out and talk to the man.

Well, he said that he worked for Lakes Auto Body and moonlighted on his time off and just drives around looking for dented cars. He said that our car would probably cost $1,500 to get it fixed, but that he would fix it for $500. He said that we would not have to pay him until he was finished and that he would fix it right now and right where the car was sitting. Well, I thought I was getting a deal when I talked him down to $450. He accepted this if I would pay him cash. So my husband went to the bank and got the money.

The nice man, Roberto, proceeded to heat one area of the front fiberglass bumper and put “metal tape” on it and said that it punched right out, but that we would have to leave it on for 24 hours before we peeled it off. He also did the same to the rear bumper. He then put “clear coat” on the rest of the car which really made my car shiny and new and said that the scratches would be gone completely by morning. It did look like the scratches were gone.

Well guess what, we took the “metal tape” off today which turned out to be duct tape and voila! Nothing changed. I did ask the nice man for his phone number and he gave it to me, but in calling it today, there was no such Roberto living at that number and then I called Lakes Auto Body and there was no man named Roberto who worked there.

Later on today, my daughter’s boyfriend was over and heard our story and then proceeded to tell us that he had come to his house this week and offered the same story. Her boyfriend said that he couldn’t afford it at this time and the man gave his name as Robert and gave him a telephone number to call when he had the money. This number was different from ours. He called today to set up an appointment, but so far, no one has called him back.

Unfortunately, we paid him the $450 and nothing was fixed, although the car is nice and shiny. God knows what is making it shiny. It is probably outdoor shellac or something that I can’t get off of the car and probably ruined the paint job, but to tell you the truth, I am afraid to find out as I feel so stupid. I am not usually this stupid!!

Coincidentally, a sheriff’s deputy drove by as the man was leaving and the man came back into the driveway and sat and the deputy actually stopped and talked to him, but then left to talk to the neighbors about something.

I believe that this man is scamming all over and my daughter’s boyfriend lives about a half mile away. I really think that this should be printed in the paper to warn others of this problem.

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