Scams in the parking lot
It’s broad daylight and you don’t expect anyone robbing you, especially in a busy parking lot.
You finish shopping and walking to your car. You open your car door and some stranger walk behind your car to squirt some liquid. Then the stranger walks up to you and said your brake fluid is leaking (but the fluid has nothing to do with your car). The stranger told you he’s a mechanic or posed as a parking lot attendant or posed as a by stander, but he’s really a con artist.
You step out of the car with your door still open or unlock to check the fluid with the stranger. While you’re checking this out a second con artist quickly walks in and take your purse or other belongings or items you just brought. By the time you check things out and get back to your car, you wouldn’t’ know what hit you.
This tactic is to sneak up behind your car to squirt some liquid under your car and the scam artist goes up to you to let you know something is leaking. The scam artists claim he’s a mechanic or a parking lot attendant or he’s concern for your safety to make themselves sound legit and to keep your guard down.
The most common method used by scam artists is to instill fear and to get people in heighten emotional state. When you are in a heighten emotional state you tend to make poor decisions because you are worry about your safety and that worrying thought hijack any logical reasons.
There are other ways scam artists use to get you out of your car, the scammers may approach the liquid method, smoke, or make up some other signs of trouble with your car.
Fake accidents in parking lot and street
You’re backing up your car in a parking lot or on the street. You check and double check for everything to clear. You step on the gas pedal to reverse the car then you heard a bump coming from the back.
You get out of the car and someone seem to be hit. The person looks in pain and want compensation from you or use that incident to file claim on your insurance policy.
Luckily there are surveillance cameras in many parking lots and you can ask for a copy of the video. Often these kinds of scams can bust the con artist.
Parking lot speaker scams
You’re walking on the street or somewhere in a parking lot. A van drives up to you, the door opens, someone inside told you he works at an audio store and has a brand new $500 speaker for sale, but he’s going to sell them to you for only $200.
The man in the van open the box to let you see the speakers. The speakers look new and looks good. You paid the $200 and take the speakers home still wrap in the box. You take them out and found the speakers are inferior products or made with shinny plywood with nothing inside.
Besides speakers watch out for worthless jewelry, fake flat screen TVs.
Fake parking tickets
You park your car somewhere you’re unfamiliar with. There is a ticket on your windshield whipper.
The ticket conveniently label the website where you can pay for the parking violation and if you visit the website you may be a victim of identity theft when you paid with your credit card.
Real Life Parking Lot and Street Scams
The call comes in. The deep, calm voice of a corporate manager is on the other end of the line. He explains that someone stole a customer’s wallet from the store where you work and that $1,500 was missing from it when it was recovered and returned. He asks you to take the money from a safe at the store and deliver it to a person in a nearby parking lot. Read more here: Man arrested in store call scams: Workers tricked to deliver cash
According to police, a single suspect will contact the victim in a public place such as a grocery store or retail parking lot and show the resident a lottery ticket. The suspect often claims they are unable to collect the winnings due to a lack of citizenship or identification. Read more here: Scam artists targeting elderly residents
Earlier that day he was walking out of Walmart, 5501 Sherwood Way, when a man approached him and asked for a ride to a local motel. A second person approached the two in the motel parking lot, and the two persuaded the man to go to the bank and withdraw several thousand dollars to help them bring a large sum of cash into the United States from Africa, police said. Read more here: 3 men accused in financial scam
The flat-screen TVs looked real, and the price seemed too good to be true. They were labeled $1,999, but the man was selling them for $300 each. Shanae Johnson said she talked the man — who was selling them out of a Cadillac in a south Arlington parking lot — down $50 and bought two for $500. Read more here: Scam artist sells plywood TVs in Arlington
The white van speaker scam is a scam sales technique in which a salesman makes a buyer believe he is getting a good price on audio merchandise. Con artists in this type of scam call themselves “speakerguys” or “speakermen”. Read more here: White van speaker scam
If you haven’t been a victim of a parking lot scam yet – count yourself lucky. Parking lots have become the favourite haunt of scamsters looking to con the gullible. XPRESS picks out the top five rip-offs you may come across during Ramadan and provides tips on how to spot and avoid them. Read more here: Top 5 scams to watch out for
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